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This is what new york represents and always will: the heart breaking power that dreams play on reality. In this context when dylan is commenting on himself he rips himself to shreds. I think the song should not be taken out of context and broken down. Its a beautifull song, I named one of my daughters Johanna in appreciation of this song.
Many years later I had the privilage to see dylan sing this song at Manchesters best version of this song is on the grateful dead's ''fallout from the philzone'' live album.
The last verse makes it very very clear that the song is about the relationship he had with Joan Baez, who he left when he moved on musically and felt that he did not need her there.
But he still missed their intimacy, the intimacy you have with someone on many levels when that person is a fellow creative artist with whom you are in love.
Dylan, not unfamiliar with acid himself during this time, probably had seen a lot of these desperate-to-be-cool-and-bohemian types during this period.
Martin Scorsese chose a great version of this song for his documentary, No direction home.
This Song--Visions of Johanna--is about Joan Baez primarily and the thoughts he has, the visions he has which revolve around her and their musical and intimate relationship.
The previous "meaning" which previously appeared here is TOTAL NONSENSE meant to deliberately mislead the reader.
Most of the song (first three minutes or so) is sung in the voice of the narator but there are some parts where he sings in the voice of johanna and is also in line with the idea that 'visions of cody' was written... The identities of Johanna, Louise, and Little Boy Lost have been debated for decades.
) Again, I only submit these interpretations as a suggestion that this significant event may have provided the inspiration for the surreal essence of the lyrics of "Visions of Johanna." Regarding the interpretation of the overall meaning of the song, I have enjoyed reading everyone else's submissions here and considering their various points of view.
Dylan detested having his songs "dissected like rabbits" but the curious can't help it sometimes to want a glimpse of the workings of the artist's mind.
The fact that Dylan, a folk music god, would go electric blew the minds of the traditional folkies then. He wrote the song right at the point at which he married a pregnant Sarah Lowndes. Most parts of New York City were without power from around pm until am the next morning.
The two couples beside me, along with about 25% of the audience, left grumbling when they saw the electric guitar. It's a guilt song, and a song about embarking on a new commitment. I believe that the surreal atmosphere of this song may have been inspired by the widespread electrical black-out which plunged a large part of the U. Temperatures in NYC that day averaged 35-45 degrees F.
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) "We sit here stranded" (the various inhabitants of the building/companions of the narrator temporarily confined together by circumstance?