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Why Mr Tambourine Man is A Modern Classic The most obvious and popular interpretation of Bob Dylans Mr Tambourine Man is that the song is about drugs This makes sense as it was against the law to write songs about drugs in the 1960s when Mr Tambourine Man was composed The metaphors are simple Mr Tambourine Man is the drug-dealer Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship is asking the drug-dealer for the drugs and then the lyrics go on to describe the physical effects on the body after consuming hallucinogens My senses have been stripped My hands cant feel to grip My toes too numb to step Another obvious reference to drug-taking comes from the fourth verse Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind The smoke rings relating literally to drugs being smoked and the last line of the last verse also if taken literally relates to escaping from the realities of life by using drugs Let me forget about today until tomorrow However this interpretation does not explain some of the vivid imagery used throughout the song where it is not easy to draw parallels between drugs and the image for example The haunted frightened trees This phrase could be written about the emotional state of the drug user and by embuing those emotions onto something else the surreal atmosphere already invoked in the earlier passages is heightened In the second and third verses there are several lines expressing suprise at feeling fatigued My weariness amazes me and how the body is also tired my toes too numb to step Bob Dylan said himself Drugs never played a part in that song disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind thats not drugs drugs were never a big thing with me This leads me to believe that the song is indeed about something other than drugs Some analysts have written about the
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