This album, New Morning, came as a relief after Dylan’s fascinating but uneven and puzzling Self Portrait.  It was a sign that Dylan was back on track — but in fact the album is excellent on its own merits, not just compared to Self Portrait.  It’s one of Dylan’s best.  The lyrics contain some simple but beautiful poetry and the easy, country-inflected arrangements fit the songs perfectly.

The eccentric, deadpan Three Angels, not much remarked upon in the Dylan literature, ranks among Dylan’s best religious songs (though the more conventional, psalm-like Father Of Night does not.)

10 thoughts on “WHAT I’M SPINNING NOW

  1. Three angels up above the street
    Each one playing a horn
    Dressed in green robes with wings that stick out
    They’ve been there since Christmas morn
    The wildest cat from Montana passes by in a flash
    Then a lady in a bright orange dress
    One U-Haul trailer, a truck with no wheels
    The Tenth Avenue bus going west
    The dogs and pigeons fly up and they flutter around
    A man with a badge skips by
    Three fellas crawlin’ on their way back to work
    Nobody stops to ask why
    The bakery truck stops outside of that fence
    Where the angels stand high on their poles
    The driver peeks out, trying to find one face
    In this concrete world full of souls
    The angels play on their horns all day
    The whole earth in progression seems to pass by
    But does anyone hear the music they play
    Does anyone even try?

    Copyright © 1970 by Big Sky Music; renewed 1998 by Big Sky Music

  2. Father of night, Father of day
    Father, who taketh the darkness away
    Father, who teacheth the bird to fly
    Builder of rainbows up in the sky
    Father of loneliness and pain
    Father of love and Father of rain

    Father of day, Father of night
    Father of black, Father of white
    Father, who build the mountain so high
    Who shapeth the cloud up in the sky
    Father of time, Father of dreams
    Father, who turneth the rivers and streams

    Father of grain, Father of wheat
    Father of cold and Father of heat
    Father of air and Father of trees
    Who dwells in our hearts and our memories
    Father of minutes, Father of days
    Father of whom we most solemnly praise

    Copyright © 1970 by Big Sky Music; renewed 1998 by Big Sky Music

  3. Songs 11 and 12 closing the album.

    I can see your point. “Father of Night” has always sounded like a rushed filler job.

    • It’s all right, and undoubtedly heartfelt, but it doesn’t worm its way into your consciousness like “Three Angels”, with its quirky but unforgettable images.

  4. Remember walking by snowy night on the banks of the River Charles,
    with this as the basic background of our lives?

  5. I always think of New Morning as the perfect Sunday morning record – probably the most warm and relaxed thing ever recorded by a guy not know for doing warm-and-relaxed. It’s also one of his most underrepresented live. If I’m not mistaken, six of its ten tracks have never been played before an audience. The shapeless and bleary versions of New Morning I heard in 1991 would better have been left that way. The lovely versions of the quirky If Dogs Run Free were highlights in 2000.

  6. How an artist can get from “Blonde On Blonde” to “New Morning” in four years is one of the great mysteries. Family and faith were part of it, but only part.

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