From the recording 1 Prologue: Old Box of Tapes


The album begins with the “Prologue,” and proceeds without pause or break into track 2, in itself a medley of two songs: “One World” and “Open the People.” The three songs create a child-like trilogy of sorts, with the use of actual audio tapes of family members from over four decades earlier, and the use of children’s songs, to evoke a time when things were happy, innocent, and full of hope.

The Prologue is a microcosm of the entire album—and uses the classical rondo form (ABACADA) to preview bits of songs heard later in the album and to introduce the main subjects. Here, the “piano/time motive” is introduced for the first time. The split compound meter—triple-time arpeggios played in the left-hand with the contrasting metronomic sense of the duple-time right hand chords—is meant to create a sense of the passing of time, as that of the constant “tick-tock” of the hands of a clock. For the conclusion of the Prologue my father’s familiar laugh and reassuring voice fade into the universally calming sound of the ocean… and that’s when we find out, astonishingly, what my brother Stefan was dreaming about—“songs.”


Characters (from old box of tapes):

Mark: 1975 and 1966
Dylan (brother) 1975
Stefan (brother) 1966
LaNoue (father) 1966
Matt (friend) 1982
Betsy (friend) 1966


Mark (1975): Would you like to sing a song?
Dylan: No
Mark: C’mon
Stefan: Are you.. (Dylan: no) ...sleeping?
(Mark: I’ll play piano and you can sing a song...)
(Dylan: ...No)
Stefan: …are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John
Morning bells are ringing
Morning bells are ringing
Ding dong ding
Dylan: Well, I’m in Mark’s A-frame
And it’s really nice...

A Section ("Time" theme):
...And that’s what I’m talking through
I’m talking through his microphone
He has an upstairs, a bed, a fan...
LaNoue: It’s really wild to see it...
Dylan: electric piano, two electric pianos
And he has skis… he has a stove…
LaNoue: ...And we played in a very small room there
It was really very beautiful with candle light all around
(Dylan: ...he has a nice bed...)
LaNoue: It was very nice
Dylan: He has a couch and he has nice shoes
And he has a t.v....

B Section (“Sea of Hope”):
…And he has a sunshine painted on his window…
And he has…
Stefan: Oh you better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why
Chorus: Don’t know where I’m bound
Dylan: Me and my Mom and my friend
Went to Anthony Wayne Swimming Pool yesterday…
Chorus: I need to be found
(Dylan: and I went off the high dive…
...and I went off the little dive...)
...And I’m a very good swimmer
And it’s fun there and…
Chorus: Get my…

A Section ("Time" theme return):
…feet on the ground
Stefan: Dinah won’t you blow
Dinah won’t you blow (oh, oh, oh)
Dinah won’t you blow your horn?
Dinah won’t you blow
Dinah won’t you blow...
(Sax solo)

C Section (“Open The People”):
Matt: Thank you
We’re 4 on The Floor
Thank you very much
We had a good time this weekend
We’re going to be at the Red Rail on Thursday
Come by and check it out
(Sax solo continues)
Chorus: Open the peo…

A Section ("Time" theme return):
…ple. Oh, oh, oh
Betsy: Hello baby. How are you?
I was just thinking about you yesterday
And like, how a… I said… that,
Like, you should find somebody to talk to there
And now I miss not speaking to you here
So maybe you could…

D Section (“Your Time Will Come”):
Chorus: Oh dreamers
And believers
There’s a new day
And you’ll…

A Section ("Time" theme return):
…be alright.
Mm, mm, mm
LaNoue: … from the 16th century
And recorders from the 16th century
And cornets from the 16th century
And they took the instruments out of the cases
And let us blow on them
It was really very, very nice
As a matter of fact
The day we went there
The museum was supposed to be closed, but…
Mark (1966): It is going to be fairly warm tomorrow
At a temperature of 74
And a… that is all for today…

...Goodnight, Walter Bronkite!
LaNoue: I'm feeling very silly
Oh you know what's happened?
Stefan has gotten hooked...
Do you remember how Mark
Used to play with the phonograph?
And, like, put records on
And watch them, and all of that?
Well Stefan...
Stefan: I was dreaming about songs Marko...