Buckets of Rain comes from one of Dylan’s most critically acclaimed records – 1975’s Blood on the Tracks. It is the last song on the record and is certainly different from all which proceeds it. Dylan often does that on his records. He tangentially leaves us on a different note than the impression or mood the record might convey. It’s basically a light closing of a desperate album.
Compare for example today’s song Buckets of Rain – a reflective and lighter refrained piece about love with his gut-wrenching love masterpiece ‘If You See Her, Say Hello‘ which proceeds it 2 songs back. They both reflect distinct moods of someone thinking about the same thing and despite the bluesy whimsical tone of Buckets the narrator is still facing some awry conflicting emotions as seen below, not unlike where he went with Abandoned Love which has already been discussed here:
I like your smile
And your fingertips
Like the way that you move your hips
I like the cool way you look at me
Everything about you is bringing me misery
But the whimsicality of this verse hasn’t turned into the fervor of torment that is Abandoned Love which he would leave off his next record Desire. Buckets of Rain was recorded in New York City. The final album contains 5 recorded songs in NYC and 5 in Minneapolis. The guy singing this song seems like a deeply flawed individual not unlike that presented in Abandoned Love. He is thoroughly self-centered. Even his love for the woman is declared in a way which egotistically focuses on himself:
‘I got all the love…’
But the narrator in this case has humor and reuses the buckets metaphor is to associate his depth of his feelings – ‘all the love’ – with his misery, represented by the tears. And when he at last mentions her, it’s to compare her unfavorably with himself. He’s got so much love for her, she wouldn’t be able to ‘stand’ any more.
1. Untold Dylan – Buckets of Rain
2. Bob Dylan Song analysis – David Weir
One of my top songs off of the album. This one and A Simple Twist of Fate. It’s so damn likable.
I agree it is very likeable..I like it’s whimsical melody. It’s crafty and edgy. It’s in my middle tier appreciation from the album along with ‘Simple’ . My favs are ‘Tangled’, ‘Rosemary’ and ‘if You See Her’. But Buckets is real keeper, that’s for sure!
Yes I didn’t count Tangled because…its up there with my favorite Dylan songs.
Tangled is about as high of an art-form music can reach. Astounding.