Dylan vs Jackson

Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Fair enough as precedent for songwriter-as poet-recognition, but if there was a prize for the one song, it’d go to this postmodern masterpiece, Joe Jackson’s Steppin’ Out (1982).

Lyrically, it channels Adorno’s critique of modernity but with a knowing yearning for a Baudrillardian ‘lucidity pact’ with the capitalist devil, while the train track ‘monotony of life’ beat, drifting in and out of the song depending on how it is overlaid by the innocent piano jangles,captures perfectly that philosophical overlaying of search for contentment over search for perfection (early Kafka vs late Kafka).

The video tries quite hard too, though it’s not Nobel prize quality in itself.

Stepping out

Now
The mist across the window hides the lines
But nothing hides the colour of the lights that shine
Electricity so fine
Look and dry your eyes

We
So tired of all the darkness in our lives
With no more angry words to say can come alive
Get into a car and drive
To the other side

Me babe, steppin’ out
Into the night
Into the light
You babe, steppin’ out
Into the night
Into the light

We
Are young but getting old before our time
We’ll leave the T.V. and the radio behind
Don’t you wonder what we’ll find
Steppin’ out tonight?

You
Can dress in pink and blue just like a child
And in a yellow taxi turn to me and smile
We’ll be there in just a while
If you follow me

Author: paulinlancs

Councillor for the Socialist Republic of Bickerstaffe. Interested in making things happen, except when there's cricket on. Sadly, there's never cricket on.

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