Fans Examine Meaning of Title, Cover of Bob Dylan's "Together Through Life"

March 17, 2009 4:07 PM ET

Bob Dylan fans are busy dissecting every morsel of info released from his forthcoming album Together Through Life. Some think the title is drawn from a line in the Walt Whitman poem "When I Peruse The Conquer'd Fame." New Mexico disc jockey Scott Warmuth makes a pretty convincing case that the line "I'm pretty sure she'll make me kill someone" is appropriated from David Wright's translation of The Canterbury Tales. Dylan's 2006 album borrowed at least 16 lines from the first century Roman poet Ovid and many others from the Confederate poet Henry Timrod. Dylan's process of threading together disparate sources into a unique song is, of course, as old as songwriting itself.

What's drawing the most attention is the cover photo, which was taken by legendary photographer Bruce Davidson. The shot was also used in the 2005 Dylan documentary No Direction Home and, as Baltimore Magazine points out, it was on the cover of Larry Brown's book Big Bad Love. Dylan is apparently a big fan of Brown and has claimed to have "read every word the man's ever written." Check out more of Davidson's photos here. The Dylan album cover is drawn from the Brooklyn Gang series.

A tip of the hat to Expecting Rain.

Related Stories:

Bob Dylan's New Album Together Through Life Due April 28th
Bob Dylan Records Surprise Modern Times Follow-Up

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »