rob clarke and the brown bears

Something of a head bowed nugget from the Rob Clarke who on this occasion instead of being with his usual Wooltones band mates appears to have absconded to play with the Brown Bears for a (that is if we’ve gotten this right as we’ve lost the reference note from which we picked this up) set called ‘the basement tapes’ from off which this little gem has been turned. A cover of Dylan’s ‘I pity the poor immigrant’ no less may well have you pausing for thought and consideration to take your mind, if only for 2.48 minutes, away from the commercial trappings of this season time to consider your lot and relate to those a little less fortunate and the forgotten who spend their lives staring at society from the bitter cold of the outside, here delicately drawn as a sweetly drifting country folk ramble etched in bitterness, pity and a sense of regret. As to the track itself much debate and uncertainty has come to pass amid Dylan scholars over its meaning – was it a commentary on America’s heritage, perhaps a religious parable of sorts or maybe a simple road song with much column inches lent to the central critique as to the context of the description immigrant – for me personally one of the great outsider songs.


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