Where Are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat) (1978)

“A pathway that leads up to the stars” is suggestive of a stairway to heaven, yet “Where Are You Tonight,” which includes a reference to stars, offers no easy ticket to paradise– reach for the stars but expect scars:

There’s a white diamond gloom on the dark side of this room
And a pathway that leads up to the stars
If you don’t believe there’s a price for this sweet paradise
Remind me to show you the scars

By rhyming “stars” with “scars,” Dylan conveys that one cannot be achieved without the other.  The song goes like that.  The forbidden fruit that results in the erotic juice running down his leg is paid for by meeting her boss.  Beauty fades while he watches her undrape.  A woman he longs for drifts like a satellite.  Doubling, the this but that, the at what cost that ties to every pleasure, captured with a rhyme, “stars“/”scars.”  There may be no other rhyme in Dylan so riveted to the theme of a song than this one.

The magnificent internal rhyming in this song is up there with the shake your head admiration of it in songs like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Like A Rolling Stone.”  Listening intently for it is so worth the while.

Below is Dylan live singing it in 1978 in Charlotte, NC, the very year Street Legal was released, and the last year he sang it (33 times from July to December):



Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: