It’s not a surprise to anyone who knows Dylan or has seen him live that he has now, and always has had, a playful side. It’s there in person, and it’s clearly very present in his lyrics. I could name many, but right now, I have one song in mind, and that is One More Weekend. If you’ve read me before, then you already know the disclaimer, which is that I never try to interpret Dylan’s lyrics or seek any hidden meaning because I’m not Dylan and I hate that shit – and it’s been done to death. So I’m just me, and I hear what I hear and I see what I see, so it’s what Dylan means to me. That’s the best I can offer; I think frankly, it's the most anyone can do.
So that said, it seems pretty clear to me, as I’m humming along in my car with the stereo blaring and listening to the words, that this is not a song about a short-term relationship, but clearly, a long-term deal. And hey, listen, regardless, I can say this much I think with some certainty, it isn’t a song about a simple one-night stand – because even though a one-night stand can last many months (which you may delude yourself into thinking is a “relationship”), ultimately, it’s still just an extented one-night stand, which is fine etc, and ultimately I don’t really care. But that’s not what I hear in this song - it's just not. Sure, could be wrong. But I've given the disclaimer.
Christ, anyone who has been in a long-term relationship need only need listen or read the lyrics to get what’s going on here. The simple lines:
“We’ll go someplace unknown
Leave all the children home,
Honey, why not go alone
Just you and me.”
There is no question mark at the end of that final sentence. It’s a declarative, “Let’s”, as in, “Let’s go.” This is something I really like, maybe even admire about Dylan: he doesn’t dilly dally or beat around the bush. In some way then, he and I are much alike in this way, because shy though I may be – I am absolute and certain of my want and my need and my passion and what I want and what I love, I know it and with certainty and I ain’t gonna let it pass me by. Now, this is not, of course, entirely my choice (likewise, Dylan’s) for it always takes two to make it work – because if you act – on the “Let’s” in this equation and the other person is to meek or whatever to make the move, then that’s where the story ends. Amen.
But let’s not go there. Let’s instead take Dylan up on his declarative and so very absolute and certain of what he wants attitude (despite all other things), because that is what makes this song – and so many others – so very good, and gives them a great deal of strength, I think, because we relate.
One could easily argue, legimately so perhaps that the lines:
“One more weekend, one more weekend with you,
One more weekend, one more weekend’ll do.”
May indeed signify that this particular relationship is nearing a close, and this is a last Hurrah. It’s possible, and I won’t argue, because I don’t’ know (and neither do you), and so what anyway? It really has little bearing either way.
This isn’t about sustaining anything to me at all – that’s not the point. I don’t care about the “what happens next”. I’m not nine. Like I said, I know enough to know it’s not a one-night stand. I like that it’s playful and light – and again, so definite. There is no dissembling or dissumating: the slippery and evasive non-comment comment. You know the type. If you’ve studied philosphy at all, Kierkegaard dubbed this type of man the “Benchwarmer” of society (and to wit: this person disgusted him). He is, was, remains, pathetically passive in a world that requires action if – note: I said “if” – you want anything. If you do not, then shut the fuck up. Or, in the famous words of the group Cake:
“Shut the fuck-up,
Learn to buck-up.”
Yup. Act. Take a lesson for Dylan’s one contracted word, “Let’s”. Words take us only so far though, and that’s the whole point of this song. Listen, I think love letters (by post, not email) are just achingly romantic it’s an awful loss to us to see them vanish. I do my part to keep them alive: seriously. But more, I also act. This is key. Courtship and wooing are all vital – yes – but without action, where do they lead?
Dylan’s “Let’s” then, is an invitation, to in-short, take his hand, which is, I suppose, in the sort-of, but not-quite, sub-text (and there is a lot of sub-text in this song):
“Come on down to my ship, honey, ride on deck,”
I’ll take that invitation. As I said, One More Weekend I do believe is about a long-term deal, and perhaps it is ending – I don’t know – but either way, there’s a helluva lot a spark, and if I’m reading him right, it’s not about the obvious “sex sex sex” or as we say in my country, “Oedipus Rex” (Cockney rhyming slang). There’s reassurance, friendship, even sweetness here – listen closely:
“We’ll fly the night away,
Hang out the whole next day,
Things will be okay,
You wait and see.”
Yes, it crossed my mind that this could be total bullshit to get his way. I’m older than that now. Or younger. And sure, to some extent, we’ve been overly socialized to think, “this is what women want or need to hear” for “x” guy to get his Oedipus Rex.
But I don’t think so. I don’t think so for the simple fact that Dylan has absolutely no compelling reason that I can find to say these reassuring or kind words at all – and more, if he just wanted to get laid, wouldn’t it be far easier to pursue someone new without the baggage, etc? So ixnay on the just “getting laid” thing. I don’t buy it.
The “Hang out the whole next day” is the sort of thing you do as friends – and is a build up, when you are lovers as well, to something else, and if you are shy, too, then the “Things will be okay” is a mutual reassurance, as is the “Wait and see.” You can almost see the light brush on her cheek, or maybe a tuck of her hair behind her ear. It’s sweet, it’s kind, it’s gentle.
I do have a very good friend who would likely say (though I admit, I did not ask him first), that the lyrics to One More Weekend are “crude”, but again, I think that is what he reads into it (no offense, friend), but that comes down on you. Sure, there is subtext, but tell me, is “sex” always just that? Am I so naïve still that cannot sex sometimes be love-making? Or must it always be “crude?” (I don’t even know what this crude really means – or maybe he means people who do not love each other, I dunno, I don’t care, because to me, lines like:
“Comin’ and goin’ like a rabbit in the wood,”
Sure, sounds like a euphamism to me, and heaven forefend two people making-love that is playful and fun (which to me, does not read as sinful etc etc or “crude”: this whole “sin” thing is just a concept I cannot get behind, and that frankly, the whole repentance thing, you know: get on your knees before the sacrifical altar and repent repent repent – gimme a break.)
Sure, I do think that line is a total and absolute metaphor, no question – do we really need to spell it out? I totally get Dylan here, and I so so so understand the concept of love as something playful and light that can translate to the physical.
Hell, I’ll even up the ante and say that I think it’s actually quite “crude” for my friend to go to intentionally deceive a woman, have “sex” with her (hey, his word, not mine), and tell me after the fact that the whole was “crude” (way to go idiot, way to insult her), while meanwhile, what it is he does with his wife (did I mention he’s married?) I suppose that’s not crude - that’s different somehow because it’s “making love” and there is “care” involved, and I tell you, if I were that woman reading this article and knew that this was about me, I’d draw-up and then post a a bulletted point letter to his wife and cc him and his colleagues that listed all of these so-called crude and sexual exchanges and the deceptions/manipulations etc. But hey, that’s just me. And I can be a right Scottish bitch. I never claimed to be anything else. Moving on.
I always liked that rabbit comin’ and a goin’ in the wood. Even more, I love:
“I’m happy just to see you, yeah, lookin’ so good”
And yes, Dylan’s hunt continues, and so playfully:
“Like a needle in a haystack, I’m gonna find you yet,”
The thing about that is the very singularity of the moment and the statement, both so very vivid. It is crystal clear that not just “anyone” will do. Throughout the song, Dylan has been, and remains, very steadfast: It’s one more weekend with you. It’s not just anyone (or some girl) - this or that, or x, y, z. And again, it’s not just about getting laid. Nor is it about cheap ego-validation, because that’s just too easy; if you’re half-way decent-looking, we all know proves nothing, so whatever… grow up, already.
So no – for Dylan anyway, it is, it seems, very specific. There is a definite “she” in mind, and she is the fine needle in the haystack, and that right there is the compliment he pays her, and damn, as if that were not enough, it is incredibly sexy, god help me, even predatory…
“I’m gonna find you yet,”?
If all of this is not enough for you, he’ll give you a little more sugar, although, I anyway, don’t need it. I get it. I totally understand this in my way, because I relate in the way that I do – and when Dylan wrote this and what he felt, hell, I don’t’ know, but what I do know, all I can (anyone can) know, is how we respond – and these words, oh, how they resonate:
“You’re the sweetest gone mama that this boy’s ever gonna get”
Thanks for listening,