EVERY GRAIN OF SAND

 
 


Every Grain of Sand by Bob Dylan

In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed
There's a dyin' voice within me reaching out somewhere,
Toiling in the danger and in the morals of despair.

Don't have the inclination to look back on any mistake,
Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break.
In the fury of the moment I can see the Master's hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.

Oh, the flowers of indulgence and the weeds of yesteryear,
Like criminals, they have choked the breath of conscience and good cheer. The sun beat down upon the steps of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay.

I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.

I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night
In the violence of a summer's dream, in the chill of a wintry light,
In the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space,
In the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face.

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there's someone there, other times it's only me.
I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.

Copyright 1981 Special Rider Music

The above is the Shot of Love album version.
Below are the alternative final two lines which are sung in almost all the live versions:

:
I am hanging in the balance of a perfect finished plan
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.


Literary References:

William Blake
"Grain of Sand" and "Sand" references.

Walt Whitman
"Grain of Sand" reference.

T. S. Eliot
"Someone there" reference.

Film References:

Ingmar Bergman : Winter Light (1962)

Biblical References:

Cain's "chain of events" - Genesis 4: 1-16

Abraham's seed as sand on the seashore - Genesis 22: 15-18

God's thoughts "more in number than the sand" - Psalm 139: 17-18

The Parable of the Sower - (newborn seed, flowers of indulgence, weeds of yesterday, choked) Mark 4: 13-20

Be of Good Cheer - Mark 6: 47-51

Sparrows/hairs numbered - Matthew 10: 28-31; Luke 12: 6-7

 

 
   
   
   
   

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