“Foot Of Pride” (1983)

I can think of two, maybe three songs off of Infidels that should have been replaced by “Foot Of Pride.”  It’s a song that marks that religion departure period sound.  Funky, with a distinct serious harmonica, and that breezy Knopfler guitar framing the background.  It’s Infidels-like more than other songs on Infidels.

The rhyming in it is complex, the terminal rhyme pattern varies from verse to verse.  The more remarkable trail to follow is the medial and leonine rhymes, rhymes with middle of the line words rhyming with the end of lines.

Verse 2:

Hear ya got a brother named James, don’t forget faces or names
In these times of compassion when conformity’s in fashion

Say one more stupid thing to me before the final nail is driven in.

Verse 3:

He said he only deals in cash or sells tickets to a plane crash

Miss Delilah is his, a Phillistine is what she is

Verse 4:

You’ll play the fool and learn how to walk through doors

A whore will pass the hat, collect a hundred grand and say thanks

They like to take all this money from sin, build big universities to study in

So the bulk of this medial rhyming takes place in the middle of the song; six verses and three bridges comprise it. And there’s struggle in it–the words are biting, caustic, condemning, and aimed  at a a range of corruption.  Infidels is a condemning word.  Infidel! Does each song on Infidels identify one?  Doesn’t seem like it.  Maybe “Foot Of Pride” does too obviously to too many.  As Ricks says, Dylan brings the foot or pride “down with . . . biblical weight”:

Well, there ain’t no goin’ back
When your foot of pride come down
Ain’t no goin’ back

Pride and rhyme slapping down smack in the middle of things in this song.

Speaking of putting one’s foot down, here’s Lou Reed with a cover of the song from the Dylan 30th anniversary concert special, 1992:

 

 

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