“It’s time to spend some time in Mozambique” (Bob Dylan, 1976)

Popular culture leaves traces in the associations we have with certain places. It’s hard to concentrate on a news report about New Orleans without hearing Arlo Guthrie’s voice in the back of one’s head. Other places are probably more individually connotated – in my case, Paris evokes a song by Klimmstein feat. Joe Summer that unfortunately never got as popular as it deserved, and as much as I like Luxemburg as a place, hearing its name always contains a risk of leaving me stuck with a horrible catchy tune for the next few hours.

There is also a song about Mozambique. Bob Dylan released it in 1976 on his album Desire. I struggled for quite a while if I should write about that song here, and even admit that it did inspire the name of my blog. In the historical context –  two years after the end of the Colonial War, one year after independance from Portugal, with the Civil War (1977 – 1992) already around the corner – it seems almost cynical that Dylan’s lyrics mainly perceive the country as a romantic paradise full of dances and kisses with pretty girls on white beaches.

And yet, I like the tune, and find it somewhat flattering that Mozambique has its own Dylan-song. I suppose for my purpose I should simply stick to the first line of the lyrics and the melody, and enjoy.


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