Bob Dylan Countdown #192: “Winterlude”Posted: January 26, 2012
It’s kind of hard to find fault with this charming little curve ball off New Morning. It may not be the most ambitious thing Bob has ever attempted, and I suppose some fans don’t like it when he’s not going all out. Still, the album which “Winterlude” inhabits is full of such stylistic oddities, so in that regard, it’s a perfect fit.
It also shares some of the bucolic, get-away-from-it-all themes of other songs on the album. Even though the LP is often seen as Dylan’s return to serious writing again after the debacle of Self Portrait, there still lurks in the tone of these songs some resistance to “play the game”, as John Lennon once put it. Bob wasn’t quite ready to go back to the big time just yet.
As a result, “Winterlude” finds Dylan trying to coax the cleverly named title character into an evening, and a life, of snuggling up together while nature’s beauty shines all around them. Whatever the rest of the world is doing isn’t really important; Bob is solely concerned here with home, hearth, and having the right companion alongside him.
As the music strolls along down the country lane, Dylan has a lot of fun with the language, rhyming “apple” and “chapel” and tossing off couplets that trip off the tongue in endearingly catchy fashion, making this one a fun one with which to sing along. I’m not sure there are too many songs of Bob Dylan you would dare call cute, at least not to his face, but “Winterlude” definitely qualifies.