Barry Gibb singing his new Home Truth Song (Miami Beach, March 26, 2015)
Some say Springsteen, others say Petty. Yet others say Bob Seeger. But to me Barry Gibb's brilliant new song reminded of Bob Dylan, with an expression like "forever young," which of course is the title of one of Dylan's best loved songs. The first verse which seems to indicate the singer's feeling about those who try to label or idolize him reminds one of Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe."
The comparison naturally brings to mind the early Bee Gee tune, "And the Children Laughing." It seems Barry Gibb and his brothers were experimenting with a lot of different styles back then. So, at times the young Bee Gees sounded like the Beatles, P.J. Proby (Robin's "Somewhere"), and the like. "And the Children Laughing" had the feel of typical Dylan from his finger-pointing-song period. However, while "Children Laughing" sounded "cleverly crafted" rather than genuine, "Home Truth Song" from a much older and maturer Barry Gibb sounds sincere and even autobiographical as Tim Roxborogh pointed out in his brilliant analysis (March 31, 2015, Roxborogh Report).
When Barry sings of the stormy ocean as he nears the end of his extraordinary ride, one is sadly reminded of all the things that have been happening.
Incidentally, I once had a conversation with Robin Gibb about Bob Dylan. While we were talking about songwriting and poetry, Robin mentioned how he believed human emotions never change and that he felt there would always be songs about relationships and emotions. I agreed, quoting the famous Dylan line, "When did Abraham break his father's idols? I think it was last Tuesday." Robin nodded in assent. Robin noted on different occasions that he believed the way he sang had someting in common with the way Dylan sang. I think he meant that pain in their voices and emotions in the raw that they conveyed.
Robin wrote some of his most personal, autobiographical songs for "50 St. Catherine's Drive," and now we may expect something equally personal from Barry Gibb whose role as the front man of the Bee Gees could so far have constrained him to remain more diplomatic than his brothers. At any rate, we really have something to look forward to, it seems!
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