TWELVE ON SUNDAY
You can't trust folk songs. They always sneak up on you.
I had no songs in my repertoire for commercial radio anyway. Songs about debauched bootleggers, mothers that drowned their own children, Cadillacs that only got five miles to the gallon, floods, union hall fires, darkness and cadavers at the bottom of rivers weren't for radiophiles. There was nothing easygoing about the folk songs I sang. They weren't friendly or ripe with mellowness. They didn't come gently to the shore. I guess you could say they weren't commercial.
Not only that, my style was too erratic and hard to pigeonhole for the radio, and songs, to me, were more important that just light entertainment. They were my preceptor and guide into some altered consciousness of reality, some different republic, some liberated republic. Greil Marcus, the music historian, would some thirty years later call it "the invisible republic."
Whatever the case, it wasn't that I was anti-popular culture or anything and I had no ambitions to stir things up. i just thought of popular culture as lame as hell and a big trick. It was like the unbroken sea of frost that lay outside the window and you had to have awkward footgear to walk on it.
I didn't know what age of history we were in nor what the truth of it was. Nobody bothered with that. If you told the truth, that was all well and good and if you told the un-truth, well, that's still well and good. Folk songs taught me that.
Bob Dylan - Chronicles, Vol. 1