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Been so long since a strange woman has slept in my bed
Look how sweet she sleeps, how free must be her dreams
In another lifetime she must have owned the world, or been faithfully wed
To some righteous king who wrote psalms beside moonlit streams.

I and I
In creation where one's nature neither honors nor forgives
I and I
One say to the other, no man sees my face and lives.

Think I'll go out and go for a walk
Not much happening here, nothing ever does
Besides, if she wakes up now, she'll just want me to talk
I got nothing to say, 'specially about whatever was.

I and I
In creation where one's nature neither honors nor forgives
I and I
One say to the other, no man sees my face and lives.

Took an untrodden path once, where the swift don't win the race
It goes to the worthy, who can divide the word of truth
Took a stranger to teach me, to look into justice's beautiful face
And to see an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

I and I
In creation where one's nature neither honors nor forgives
I and I
One say to the other, no man sees my face and lives.

Outside of two men on a train platform there's nobody in sight
They're waiting for spring to come, smoking down the track
The world could come to an end tonight, but that's all right
She could still be there sleeping when I get back.

I and I
In creation where one's nature neither honors nor forgives
I and I
One say to the other, no man sees my face and lives.
Noontime, and I'm still pushing myself along the road, the darkest part
Into the narrow lanes, I can't stumble or stay put
Someone else is speaking with my mouth, but I'm listening only to my heart
I've made shoes for everyone, even you, while I still go barefoot.

I and I
In creation where one's nature neither honors nor forgives
I and I
One say to the other, no man sees my face and lives.



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bob_dylan/i_and_i.html

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    _biohazard_Jan 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm
    I and I is probably borrowed from the Rastafarian term "I and I" which alludes to the unity between God and man. However, given that Dylan was (and recently commented that he still is) a "true believer" in Christ and is Jewish born, this is probably used to refer to the Judeo/Christian trinity more than the Rasta unity.

    Jehovah God in the Bible calls Himself "I am that I am" and this gives us the I of "I and I".

    "No man sees my face and lives" is taken from the Bible where Moses was told by God (the Father in Christianity) that He could not be seen. But God is seen many times "face to face" in other passages and the people seeing him live. Think of Jacob wrestling with God. Hence there is a Jehovah who cannot be seen and a Jehovah that can be seen in the Bible, yet there is somehow an emphasis in the Bible that there is only one God (absolute monotheism).

    In Christianty the unseeable One is believed to be God the Father, while the viewable One is God the Son. In Judiasm there have been different beliefs and debates over time. Orginally these contradictory manifestations were interpretted as "Two Powers in Heaven", the "Memra" or the Greater and Lesser Jehovah. After the Christian period, Judaism moved away from this kind of teaching, probably at least partly because it gave encouragement to Christian teachings. Since then rabbinical Judaism has taught the "Two Powers" belief is a heresy.

    "In creation where one's nature neither honors nor forgives":
    This is the fallen (sinful) state of man. We have no honor (unable to do the right thing), and God expects us to forgive one another because He has forgiven us (similar to "judge not lest ye be judged"), but we are also unable often to do this properly.

    Interesting to also note that Bono (a professing Christian) uses "I and I" in "Elevation" which is a kind of worship song to God:
    I and I in the sky
    You make me feel like I can fly
    So high, elevation

    That covers the technical bits around "I and I".

    The rest appears to me to be a dreamstate journey wrestling with commitment, sin and a search for meaning in life.

    The next almost surely religious part are the lines about the "untrodden path". Dylan is Jewish and professing Christ as saviour would be the road or path less travelled for most Jews.

    New Testament passages such as "the meek shall inherit the Earth", the last shall be first, etc. tie in with "the swift don't win the race".

    "Took a stranger to teach me" means that he learnt of this path through a gentile and not a Jew.

    "Look into justice's beautiful face" ties back to "no man sees my face and lives". In Christianity God makes his face available to man so that those that look to Christ are seeing God. Christ taught that "I and the Father are one". It also becomes clear in Christianity that when Jacob wrestled with God and "saw God face to face", he was wrestling with Jesus.

    The Dylan now looks into "justice's beautiful face" means that he now too has a face to face relationship with God through Christ.

    implies that he feels a closer (more intimate) relationship with God on the Christian path than the Jewish. But since the language and imagery are the taken from both religions / testaments, there is a unity between the two paths.

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