This would fit with the narrator’s overt view that the immigrant is to be pitied. There are similarities between I Pity the Poor Immigrant and I Am a Lonesome Hobo. Why ‘tramples’? Why say ‘who fills his mouth with laughing’ and not just ‘he laughed’? But to be openly hostile would be to abandon the benevolent disguise. I don’t see the song as satire so much as a presentation of character. It is thought to come from Irish an Uamhain, meaning “the cave/souterrain”. Thanks for replying. The narrator rather gives himself away when he mentions that the immigrant ‘turns his back on me’. Nevertheless I think the all-embracing sort of interpretation I’ve attempted contibutes something to the appreciation of Dylan which goes beyond what less global interpretations achieve. I wonder how the narrator should be seen if he’s to fit in with your view of the immigrant? After a review of the mistakes the immigrant makes, Dylan speaking as God ends with: "I pity the poor immigrant/When his gladness comes to pass." Are you suggesting that a song like JOKERMAN is not targeted at reversing antipathies towards SAVED etc – that it offers entirely a viewpoint that he neither shares or would wish to promote? We all “immigrate” to this earthly realm seeking to satisfy desires we have created but which ultimately do not serve us. Like most of the songs on John Wesley Harding, I Pity the Poor Immigrant is full of biblical references. Thanks for this. They stand alone, with whatever the listener brings to them and he always starts with the feeling, before the words. Joan Baez ~ I PITY THE POOR IMMIGRANT ~ written by Bob Dylan. One can only pity them. It might seem to support interpretations which see the song as critical of the immigrant. Interestingly,  Peter Amberly, is also about an immigrant’s journey that ends badly. And who lies with ev’ry breath Your intellectual approach to his songs come at them from the wrong direction, in my opinion. I think I agree; and, of course, I don’t know. I just don`t get his anti-immigrant status in this song – seriously mislead, aint we all etc at some time or another. Who wishes he would’ve stayed home I don’t see that there’s any flight (re this example anyway) from social or political engagement. There’s no indication that the immigrant’s presence is welcome or that his departure would be in any way regrettable. Joan Baez maybe sussed this…, Anybody know the name of the Irish tune Bob “borrowed” for “Immigrant?”, I’ll tell to ye a rovin’ tale In the final four lines we’re told that his, ‘…visions in the final end It is about those who disobey. The opening lines read: ‘I pity the poor immigrant That his ‘tears are like rain’ not only tells us how unhappy the immigrant is, but the reference to heaven makes it seem as if it’s not just the immigrant but it’s heaven, or God, that’s crying. As one of the 5 words, and indeed the initial one, only has one letter and the capital/initial letter is also the only letter in each word that is of different size than the other letters, then looking at the palindronic nature of the captial/initial letters makes even more sense. The melody is borrowed from the old folk tune Come All Ye Tramps and Hawkers. 50+ videos Play all Mix - Richie Havens - I Pity The Poor Immigrant YouTube Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands - Duration: 7:53. There is a town in the Republic of Ireland called Navan which is one of the very, very, few palindronic town/city names in the world. Though this may be the benevolent listener’s interpretation, it isn’t the narrator’s. I’d say it, but I won’t — something about the wind. It’s interesting that Dylan uses the narrator device in these different ways. Richie Havens - Topic 4,317 views Souterrain (from French sous terrain, meaning “under ground”) is a name given by archaeologists to a type of underground structure associated mainly with the European Atlantic Iron Age. Gene Clark of The Bryds fame gave it a go. (The centre cannot hold – it wasn`t much of a centre anyway – take your pick). Some commentators have suggested the song may have it’s roots in Dylan’s own family’s experiences, given that his father was the son of an immigrant. Long vowels in almost every word provide a calmness which, despite the narrator’s profession of pity, can only contrast with the immigrant’s supposed passion. There’s no indication he’d sympathise with the narrator rather than the immigrant, so it remains in line with his general liberal outlook. The song seems to be a warning to those contemplating major changes in their life with the sole aim of improved economic conditions. I pity the poor immigrant Having a gentle irony about superstitious religious people (in your lightning strikes the chapel example) is not my main concern: It is the very currying of favour with least confrontation, WHILE deploying the deftest strains of protest on this album (a la Hattie Carroll, etc,…Though I`ll have to re-check those ones out next I guess). Watch the video for I Pity the Poor Immigrant from Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding for free, and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. Also notice that he uses the word Immigrant rather than Emigrant. Whatever ‘blood’ represents – murder? I suppose that`s what I mean by adopting the timbre of, I suppose, the satire of Horace rather than the far more risky and, possibly pertinent, satire of Juvenal. The Irish diaspora is obviously well documented. The date in 1812 on which the Constitution earned the nickname’ Ironsides’ was the same as the one on which John Wesley Hardin died eighty-three years later – 19th August. Chordie works as a search engine and provides on-the-fly formatting. Perspectives get patterned – very prettily at times. In his new novel 'I Pity the Poor Immigrant,' Zachary Lazar uses gangster Meyer Lansky as a springboard in his look at the relationships between fathers and sons, violence's legacy and Israel. Intro: G G D I pity the poor immigrant G Who wishes he would've stayed home, G D Who uses all his power to do evil G But in the end is always left so alone. They present themselves as protest/anti-prejudicial sympathetic but are more like playful voicings rambling ideas to pathos as the inflections of timbre and tone suggest. fixed. Combining it with claims of sympathetic concern allows him to disguise his highly unsympathetic feelings towards the immigrant. Dylan sings for God and sends a warning. (I Pity The Poor Immigrant). Also, capital can also refer to a capital city of a country, state or some other geographic region. What interests me is the different views presented for their own sake and, from a literary perspective, the ways he presents them. So pity , so poor .. Dog is very Sad From 'John Wesley Harding' 1967. In fact the narrator, consciously or otherwise, is using this air of calmness as a cover for his own hatred. Is there anything out there to support a: `Dr Swift does the Modest Proposal` version of immigrant sympathy for this song? That man whom with his fingers cheats The long vowels in ‘fingers’ and ‘cheats’, and in ‘lies’ and breath’ present such an atmosphere of calm that we might almost miss the vitriol in these lines. But I have no idea what Dylan’s actual opinion is, and I don’t really see it as important. I don’t see why Dylan should have repudiated the song if it’s doing what I’ve suggested. John Wesley Harding is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on December 27, 1967, by Columbia Records.Produced by Bob Johnston, the album marked Dylan's return to semi-acoustic instrumentation and folk-influenced songwriting after three albums of lyrically abstract, blues-indebted rock music. IPTPI ? Nolan Baceols. The middle ground sympathies maybe are too liberal for the form the songs take. So, overall I’d say that to do the songs justice requires both sorts of interpretation. But all the while the narrator knows that his poison will work. These songs are complete within themselves. I think Jokerman might well be seen as presenting a more sceptical view of Christ than one might have expected from the author of Saved. Again, however, the sympathy is followed by apparent criticism. Thanks Rich, that’s helpful. The hobo is “deceitful” as well as a thief. * The title of the album from which I Pity The Poor Immigrant comes provides a modicum of reason to suppose that Dylan might have had the ship in mind. But in the end is always left so alone Who uses all his power to do evil Again under the guise of compassion the narrator sticks the knife in. Kids Like You Pity Upon The Poor Part 1. He is filling the town with blood. Although the lines imply that the narrator would have been happier for the immigrant’s sake if he’d stayed at home, the suspicion might enter our minds that the narrator would have welcomed this for his, the narrator’s, own sake. And ‘Must shatter like the glass’ seems to refer to St Paul’s claim in 1 Corinthians 13:12 ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face’. whoops! Who fills his mouth with laughing Of course, it’s very well documented that early in his career Dylan often borrowed tunes from old folk ballads. 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