Analyzing the songs of Bob Dylan is not for the timid. Few do it well. Michael Gray, Clinton Heylin, John Hinchey, Greil Marcus, Tim Riley and Robert Shelton are among those who've succeeded. Their insights may not be in line with Dylan's, but they enlighten and entertain.
"It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" is a landmark Dylan song, scrutinized by critics and Dylanologists. Included on the 1965 Bringing It All Back Home album, it has remained in Dylan's concert repertoire through the years. The song still fascinates. All at once it's a jeremiad and an affirmation.
In his book, Behind The Shades, Heylin gets right to a key element of "It's Alright Ma." He says it Read on →