When the Foot of Pride comes down

Posted by Dobrien 1 year, 1 month ago to Culture
0 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

Foot of Pride

Like the lion tears the flesh off of a man
So can a woman who passes herself off as a male
They sang "Danny Boy" at his funeral and the Lord's Prayer
Preacher talking 'bout Christ betrayed
It's like the earth just opened and swallowed him up
He reached too high, was thrown back to the ground
You know what they say about bein' nice to the right people on the way up
Sooner or later you gonna meet them comin' down
Well, there ain't no goin' back when your foot of pride come down
Ain't no goin' back
Hear ya got a brother named James, don't forget faces or names
Sunken cheeks and his blood is mixed
He looked straight into the sun and said revenge is mine
But he drinks, and drinks can be fixed
Sing me one more song, about ya love me to the moon and the stranger
And your fall by the sword love affair with Erroll Flynn
in these times of compassion when conformity's in fashion
Say one more stupid thing to me before the final nail is driven in.
Well, there ain't no goin' back when your foot of pride come down
Ain't no goin' back
There's a retired businessman named Red, cast down from heaven and he's out of his head
He feeds off of everyone that he can touch
He said he only deals in cash or sells tickets to a plane crash
He's not somebody that you play around with much
Miss Delilah is his, a Philistine is what she is
She'll do wondrous works with your fate
Feed you coconut bread, spice buns in your bed
If you don't mind sleepin' with your head face down in a grave.
Well, there ain't no goin' back when your foot of pride come down
Ain't no goin' back
Well they'll choose a man for you to meet tonight
You'll play the fool and learn how to walk through doors
How to enter into the gates of paradise
No, how to carry a burden too heavy to be yours
Yeah, from the stage they'll be tryin' to get water outta rocks
A whore will pass the hat, collect a hundred grand and say thanks
They like to take all this money from sin, build big universities to study in
Sing "Amazing Grace" all the way to the Swiss banks
Well, there ain't no goin' back when your foot of pride come down
Ain't no goin' back
They got some beautiful people out there, man
They can be a terror to your mind and show you how to hold your tongue
They got mystery written all over their forehead
They kill babies in the crib and say only the good die young
They don't believe in mercy
Judgment on them is something that you'll never see
They can exalt you up or bring you down main route
Turn you into anything that they want you to be
Well, there ain't no goin' back when your foot of pride come down
Ain't no goin' back
Yes, I guess I loved him too
I can still see him in my mind climbin' that hill
Did he make it to the top, well he probably did and dropped
Struck down by the strength of the will
Ain't nothin' left here partner, just the dust of a plague that has left this whole town afraid
From now on, this'll be where you're from
Let the dead bury the dead. Your time will come
Let hot iron blow as he raised the shade
Well, there ain't no goin' back when your foot of pride come down
Ain't no goin' back

Originally recorded for the Infidels sessions in 1983, “Foot of Pride” is one of the most explosive and venomous songs Dylan has ever written, with the artist spitting out lyrics and verses cascading with potent imagery. As typical of Dylan’s songs during this period, he mixes the spiritual with the secular, with lines such as “Preacher talking ’bout Christ’s betrayed/It’s like the earth just opened and swallowed him up” are echoed throughout the song. Essentially a moralist song about the various wrongdoings of man, and then the chorus is a warning: “There ain’t no going back/When your foot of pride goes down/Ain’t no going back.” Although the song delivers many eminently quotable lines, it is much too long and rambles in places, and it is perhaps understandable why Dylan chose to leave this off Infidels. The artist himself has never performed the song live in concert, although Lou Reed did a justly famous rendition of it at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert, mastering the half-spoken/half-singing delivery of the verses expertly.”

And then, in 2020, during the coronavirus lockdown, I got it. Or at least I think I did. It takes the notion of pride, and the way that those against you will use your pride to bring you low. But there ain’t no going back.

If you create something of merit – no matter how spectacular or how simple – you have done it, and there really is nothing wrong with being proud of that. But that is no cause to stop. You can’t undo the past – there ain’t no going back. You have achieved that. Now you move on.

Or put another way, “Don’t let them bring you down.” And that was the way I came to grasp an understanding of this year. Bob had been brought under the influence of Christianity, but ultimately had found the preaching and teaching and rule making too much for him [this is just my opinion of course]. And now he was simply saying “no”. This world doesn’t fit the image that he had in his mind during his Christian period.

But that’s been done. There ain’t no going back. One might even say, “Don’t let them bring you down.”

A little digging and I found this ..
The phrase the “foot of pride” is borrowed from the King James Bible’s translation of King David’s prayer in Psalm 36:11, “Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.”

Add Comment



  • Comment hidden. Undo