By showing an absence of concern about reviving the relationship, he’s manipulating the intermediary. It’s not that he’s over-sensitive, so much as that he wants to others to believe that he’s over-sensitive. 2. The word ‘don’t’ makes it clear that he wants her to think his attitude has changed. It comes across as a series of instructions to the addressee – ‘say hello’, ‘say for me’, don’t tell her’, ‘kiss her’, and ‘Tell her she can look me up …’, Furthermore, in this last case it’s not just the intermediary who is being bossed about. An interesting alternate lyric from the 1976 leg of the Rolling Thunder Tour had Dylan singing, “She’s better off with someone else/and I’m better off alone.”, Actually it was the 1978 tour rehearsals. Dylan loved what he heard and asked Berg to be his drummer for an upcoming European tour. It’s significant that this line echoes the earlier line from verse one: ‘She left here last early spring, is livin’ there, I hear‘. or, see there! Although he attempts to balance these feelings with the claims that: these claims come across as too mushily sentimental to be taken as genuine. David Bowie's "Space Oddity" tells the story of an astronaut who cuts off communication and floats into space. In Still on the Road: The songs of Bob Dylan 1974–2006, author and Dylan scholar Clinton Heylin states, "'If You See Her, Say Hello' has been written down with the ink still went from last night's tears." Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Alternatively, if he prefers things to move quickly, it’s odd that he complains when they slow down. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Oddly the changes you mention don’t seem to be included. He unintentionally betrays how domineering he can be when he declares: ‘Oh whatever makes her happy, I won’t stand in the way’. They couldn't find a lead singer, so Page and Jones formed Led Zeppelin. A second explanation for the narrator’s reticence is that it’s not love that’s uppermost in his mind, but resentment. Dylan initially recorded this song in New York in September, but he reworked and rerecorded it a few months later in Minneapolis. That would be an odd message to send someone you were hoping to restart a relationship with. The greater the number of happy occasions there were, the more time they would have taken. I see it as being in the same spirit as ‘mama you’ve been on my mind’. Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem. 7: No Direction Home (2005), The Bootleg Series, Vol. If you see her say hello she might be in Tangier She left here last early spring, is living there I hear Say for me that I'm all right though things get kind of slow She might think that I've forgotten her, don't tell her it isn't so We had a falling-out, like lovers often will And to think of how she left that night, it … Of course someone might think I’m wrong in seeing connections with biblical texts. (‘But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water’ (John 19.34). Finally, that he’s domineering comes across from his not shying away from appearing self-critical: ‘Either I’m too sensitive or else I’m getting’ soft’. First, the narrator seem to be using the woman’s supposed living in him to justify not living his own life, as if she can live his life for him. seems no more than an insincere attempt to be conciliatory. The narrator’s understanding of love seems shallow. He’s attempting to put the blame for his misery fairly and squarely on her. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The manner of her leaving, we’re told in verse two: ‘… our separation, it pierced me to the heart’. Do you have the complete text of the 1978 version? That’s fine, but the onus then falls on them to say why the connections are unlikely to be there. 1–3: Rare & Unreleased 1961-1991 (1991), The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1–3: Rare & Unreleased 1961-1991 (1991) Words and music Bob Dylan Recorded in New York, Sept 16th 1974 (released on the Bootleg Series 1-3, 1991) Thirdly, his approach in the song is itself a sign of an over-dominant character. Another biblical reference has him comparing the two of them to man in his ‘fallen’ state: It is this fallen state from which the woman recovers when she begins a new life, but from which he doesn’t when he focuses on his previous life. Overall, and strangely for what at first appears to be a love song, it would seem that the narrator is prepared to put little effort into reviving the relationship. So maybe the critics should spend more time writing and less time trying to push their opinions on others. At times his outlook is made to seem quite laughable. There’s further irony in what is presumably another (presumably unconscious) biblical reference. This is evident when he instructs the latter to: Why just ‘alright’? Again it’s hard to see how the implicit glorification of himself, together this time with the denigration of the woman, can be justified. Words and music Bob Dylan Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The narrator is thus a counterpart of Chaucer’s Absolon in The Miller’s Tale. Again he makes himself laughable by taking on the role of the fictitious medieval courtly lover – not just by pining for the woman, but by using an intermediary to intercede for him.3. Not only does it seem to be said in the hope of hearing it denied, so that it’s a covert appeal for sympathy, but – in the absence of any evidence that he’s either too sensitive or soft – it appears calculated to remove any idea that the narrator is dominating. The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times. All five verses have the narrator wistfully recounting his thoughts about the woman who has left him. b, which gives the chord a strong Cmaj7’ish flavor. This presenting himself as a romantic occurs again in the final verse: By using the language of love songs to describe real life, he’s showing he has a rather skewed idea of what a relationship needs to be. If You See Her, Say Hello. 10: Another Self Portrait (2013), The Bootleg Series, Vol. Why does he need to offer the assurance, unless to allay fears that he would in fact stand in the way? All five verses have the narrator wistfully recounting his thoughts about the woman who has left him. She is the only artist ever to receive an Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy as well as record a #1 single and album. There doesn’t seem to have been very much. One suspects that the real reason for his saying she lives inside of him is to make him seem beyond reproach. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Numerous biblical allusions seem to mock his outlook and emphasise the contrast between the woman’s forward-looking, life-affirming approach and his own orientation towards the past. Thanks Rick – that is interesting. If you see her, say hello, she might be in Tangier She left here last early Spring, is living there, I hear. He tries to make contact with her, sends her a kiss, says he respects her, and that he suffers both when he hears her name and when he recalls details of the break up. In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind.". It’s quite possible for the religious references to be there even if they do cause you to lose interest. The ambivalence may be due to the flaws in his character which precipitated the break up, and which now prevent him knowing how best to proceed. She talks about her jug band beginnings and shares a Dylan story. In doing so, they demonstrate their feelings, their sadness and their regret. I’ve done some quick research and discovered that the Ricks/Nemrow collection contains three or four different versions of the song. 13: Trouble No More 1979–1981, Traveling Wilburys vol. If You See Her, Say Hello. Narrator’s and Woman’s Contrasting Attitudes to Life. St Paul is advocating allowing Christian ideals to replace one’s own more selfish outlook. That opening is interestingly light. As it is, there were sufficiently few such occasions for him to know ‘every scene by heart’. By using Paul’s language out of context, the narrator makes himself ridiculous. On the other he complains that the past ‘all went by so fast’.