Jesse Jarnow

“huck’s theme” – bob dylan

“Huck’s Theme” – Bob Dylan (download here)
from Lucky You OST (2007)
released by Columbia Records (buy)

(file expires May 10th)

Here’s the newest Dylan tune, “Huck’s Theme,” from the soundtrack to Lucky You, a movie I don’t know anything about and — given Dylan’s previous soundtrack contributions — probably don’t need to. I’m not sure how I feel about the song. I like how it begins, with an arrangement that at least aims for the transcendent in the drone of steel guitar and organ even if the synthiness of the organ prevents it from getting there.

But then the drums kick in, and — my God — do I hate what they do here: the big, plodding beat doesn’t add anything, just sort of serves as a default tempo. But I do like the melody, and the lyrics seem like a perfectly serviceable catch-all of Dylan couplets, even if they don’t cohere into any one mood. Still, there’s some good stuff: “When I kiss your lips, the honey drips, I’m gonna have to put you down for a while,” is a pleasant, tender thought. And “all the merry little elves can go hang themselves, my faith is as cold as can be” plays like a scroogey Christmas version of Dylan’s late-period Southern gentleman on the skids.

I do wonder if Dylan’s gonna ever try reinventing himself again. Of course, that’s what makes the reinventions compelling: they all seem like the “real” Dylan at the time. Unfortunately, “Huck’s Theme” doesn’t seem quite weird enough to be worth considering all too seriously.

2 Comments

  1. Randy Ray says: - reply

    Hmmm…good scoop. The curious thing for me? Who the heck is Huck? Dylan, the Twain Scribe Years Cometh or just a random name chosen for a character by some heady screenwriter?

  2. Derek says: - reply

    Hey, there. I’m sure you’re busy, so I’ll make this short. I have a friend who is dying for this song, and I’d really like to help him out.
    I myself am an avid Dylan fan and would like to hear it as well. I’m not going to ask you to go as far out of your way to refresh the download, but if you could send it to me, I’ll try and get it to the people of the Dylan group on Last.fm who had asked for it.
    Thank you.