Monday, 7 December 2009

The Wicked Messenger from Eli

The Wicked Messenger from Eli

The Wicked Messenger is a song written and originally performed by Bob Dylan for his album John Wesley Harding. The song was recorded in Columbia's Studio A, Nashville, on November 19, 1967.

"What I'm trying to do now is not use too many words," Dylan said in a 1968 interview. "There's no line that you can stick your finger through, there's no hole in any of the stanzas. There's no blank filler. Each line has something." According to Allen Ginsberg, Dylan had talked to him about his new approach, telling him "he was writing shorter lines, with every line meaning something. He wasn't just making up a line to go with a rhyme anymore; each line had to advance the story, bring the song forward.

The song revolves around a character, a "wicked messenger", who has been sent by Eli, a priest in the Books of Samuel. For the critic Andy Gill, "this eponymous messenger is, of course, Dylan himself, the bringer of harsh truths".[7] The lyrics are somehat opaque ("When questioned who had sent for him/He answered with his thumb/For his tongue it could not speak but only flatter"), and the song ends with a sardonic, slightly cryptic moral, "And he was told but these few words/Which opened up his heart/"If ye cannot bring good news, then don't bring any"

Wikipedia Eli (Bible)

There was a wicked messenger
From Eli he did come,
With a mind that multiplied
The smallest matter

My View (Andy the Greek):

In ancient myths, Cronus (=Eli) envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, Uranus. Uranus drew the enmity of Cronus' mother, Gaia, when he hid the gigantic youngest children of Gaia, the hundred-armed Hecatonchires and one-eyed Cyclopes, in Tartarus, so that they would not see the light. Gaia created a great adamant sickle and gathered together Cronus and his brothers to persuade them to castrate Uranus. Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and placed him in ambush.


Glaucus said...


For me the Wicked Messenger (Pigeon: Code INXJ Perseus System) comes from the Jealous Ones (Keirsey Code SJ Guards), Gaia is the instigator.

Gaia (pronounced /ˈɡeɪ.ə/ or /ˈɡaɪ.ə/; "land" or "earth", from the Ancient Greek Γαῖα; also Gæa or Gea (Koine and Modern Greek Γῆ)[1] is the primal Greek goddess personifying the Earth.

What can you expect from "grounded" Earthlings?

Glaucus said...

To cut a long story short, or make a short story long, what does Eli mean?

In his book, Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s, Mike Marqusee writes:
“ The song title appears to be derived from Proverbs 13:17: "A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health." [3]. [In the song] the character first appears in public, unbidden, as an obsessive[...] The wicked messenger is the artist, the prophet, the protest singer.[4]

This Bob Dylan is the Wicked messenger.

I don't agree.

My alternate explanation is the "Wicked Messenger from Eli" is a an agent of a Jealous Guardian from Eli who wants to pacify a dissenter (Dylan) with a wicked tale of flattery and deception, instigated by the Priest called Eli.

In Greek Eli = Chronos.

With a mind that multiplied
The smallest matter

The messenger comes with tales with a wicked intent from an enemy. A minor infraction is blown out of all proportion into a major crime.

Someone's got it in for me, they're planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out but when they will I can only guess.
They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.
I can't help it if I'm lucky.

People see me all the time and they just can't remember how to act
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts.
Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,
I couldn't believe after all these years, you didn't know me better than that
Sweet lady.

Or the despised journalist searching for a dirty story in "Masked and Anomymous".

Glaucus said...

Error correction

Cronus = Eli (not Chronus)

Anonymous said...

Eli is the priest in charge of the community (sickle) of Guards (SJ) who are persecuting the target like a pack of dogs.

The journalist is the messenger.

So Eli (on behalf of God) is ENTJ.