A Blog of the Arts.
Re: Dylan, did you hear about how he used some lines from an American Civil War poet? NPR did a story on it. It was debated whether this is a folk tradition - using lines from other's works, passing them down, keeping the alive - or - was it a little fishy. [In response to below] Sometimes you just have to hole up and not even let the light in.
I've spotted a lot of instances where Dylan borrows lines from others songs, and from books. It's supposedly part of the reason why his last-but-one album was called "Love And Theft"--though that in itself is the title of a book about the black tradition in music. The area where it gets quite ambiguous--I mean as to wthether it's creativity or stealing--is when the lines aren't even recontextualised, or rephrased, but just sit there in the new song like a skin graft. Who knows? I always have the feeling Dylan is a little ahead of me in his thinking, so I hesitate to make a judgement. And it is kind of fun playing spot-the-reference.
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