The Unreliable Narrator in Most of the Time by Bob Dylan

The Bob Dylan song "Most of the time" is sung with that great gift and terrible curse of the modern ballad: the unreliable narrator.

He is like the madman Hamlet speaks of (himself?) who talks madness in the top half of the hour and is sane in the bottom half. Or the two guards in the puzzle where one always lies and one always tells the truth. If you know the code, you can decipher the text to retrieve the original, sane, meaning.

When he says:

I can survive and I can endure
And I don't even think about her
Most of the time

— Bob Dylan "Most of the Time"

What is "Most"

But what is "Most"?

"Most" is the promise of an unfulfilled pie chart.

Image demonstrating some versus most

"Most" is present. But what about "Some" of the time? What is missing?

To find the answer, you only need to reverse the order of the lines, and change "most" to "some", which changes "don't" to "do", and "can" to "can't" --

Some of the time.
I think about her
I can't survive, I can't endure

That's powerful stuff.

The deeper you look into dylan the deeper it gets.


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