Joan Baez - Diamonds and Rust
I had the privilege of seeing Joan Baez play in my home city, Bristol, this week. She is my greatest musical influence and heroine and I was in awe of her voice and her presence all evening and for days afterwards, as I’ve always been.
Although I’ve always preferred her music from her early days, the 1960s, I think Diamonds & Rust is the best song she’s ever written. Famously, she had a relationship with Bob Dylan which ended when he started gaining international attention; this song was written a decade later after she received an unexpected phone-call from him.
I think the reason this song touches me so much is Joan Baez has always been perceived as this unstoppable force who has taken part in hundreds of civil rights protests, marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., campaigned against wars and unashamedly put herself in harm’s way to protest for peace over the years, let alone maintaining a steady career as a very respected musician and songwriter… yet here she bares her feelings surrounding this man, the one person who broke her and the profound, nostalgic affect a single phone-call had.
As I remember your eyes
Were bluer than robin’s eggs
My poetry was lousy you said
Where are you calling from?
A booth in the midwest