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Knockin' On Heaven's Door

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Anna Wrobel

on 3 May 2016

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Transcript of Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Knockin' On Heaven's Door
The obvious or intentional exaggeration from this song is when he states that “I feel I'm knockin' on heaven's door…” Which implies there is a heaven.
He uses heaven in this case, as a religious statement. He clearly assumes in a dying moment there is heaven’s door somewhere.
The metaphor used here in the following verse explains that he wants his mother to bury his guns in the ground because he cannot use them anymore.
Meaning he wants his mother to bury him, he is dying and can't shoot anymore. Also, he might want his guns buried with him in the afterlife.
The allusion of this song is in the first verse. Not explicitly explained, Bob Dylan, the author, makes an indirect reference to the “badge”. Meaning that everyone would understand the reference, but on the contraire we could only assume he is a police officer. Who is dying and knocking on heavens door.

The repetition of this song is the “knockin’ on heaven’s door” verse.
This short song is very powerful because the repetition is sung with so much energy.
"Here's the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don't find it anywhere else."

Bob Dylan suggests that only in his music can he find faithfulness and spirituality. Music to him is something authentic, natural and perfect.
He is not expressing he is religious, but considering there might be a heavens door we may knock one day.

Anna Wrobel
The irony in this verse is when he wants his mother or wife to take off his badge symbolizing he has failed and will not use the badge anymore.
But why would you want your badge to be taking off if while performing your duties, were shot and left to die?
Only if you felt you didn’t deserve that badge and since you have lost the fight, you feel ashamed of wearing it.
The rhyming in the song is very short and simple, since the song is not very long.
Well the chorus is mostly the rhyming.
Bob Dylan, seems to be leaving out the pronunciation of some of the words in his lyrics from various songs. For instance the “g” on “knockin”, may be emphasized he is “country folk”, supposing they talk in that manner.
He might just be using the words to create better rhyming.
Other rhymes include “anymore” with “door” and “see” and “me”, they seem to fit well with the song and the meaning of the song.

Author: Bob Dylan
Speaker/Meaning: 2 Different Interpretations
Meaning 1:
This song is very much a statement against war. It's written from the point of view of a soldier who is on his death bed. Right as he is about to die, he seems to regret his life as a soldier. Unlike the romanticized image of the soldier who clutches his gun to his heart as he dies in battle, this particular soldier seems to reject those symbols of military and war - his badge and his gun.

Meaning 2
:The song is from the movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, where Garrett a sheriff was rumored to be an old friend of the gangster Billy the Kid. Garrett had to make a tough decision to choose his duty over his friendship. The song may perhaps arose in his heart at the moment when he had to shoot down his buddy.

The song simply deals with the concept of blindfolded thinking and the conflict within oneself when the person's conscience rises to make him realize the true meaning of his deeds.

Rhythm Scheme: 1st two: trochaic trimeter
2nd two: iambic pentameter
Mama, take this badge off of me
I can't use it anymore
It's gettin' dark, too dark to see
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can't shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin' down
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

The author does not use the senses of taste, touch, smell in the four stanzas
The author mostly uses the sense of sight. You can imagine someone knocking on a door and you can see the long dark cloud.
The author uses adjectives to create imagery. Like the "long dark" cloud.

The themes of this song are Regret and Morality
Full transcript