The Ruark Kids

Thunder on the Mountain


Mo will be most pleased by this.

Since Siena was about Thalia’s age, I have been periodically playing a certain song to her and dancing with her. It started with just trying to pass some time while Mama was working late nights during vet school rotations, and I would hold on to Siena and move around during the music (she couldn’t do any moving around on her own back then). Over time, she got more into the motion, so that nowadays Siena does most of the dancing and we just hold on to her hands while she bounces around (until she says, “Let’s dance without holding hands.”).

The song? “Thunder on the Mountain” by Bob Dylan, from the album Modern Times. It was released in 2006 just before Siena was born, and I picked it up for Mo for Christmas, but I listened to it first (shhh, don’t tell her), and I liked the opening track so much that once I gave the CD to Mo, I picked up a copy for myself.

The song is an easy entree to the Dylan oeuvre, because it’s a rollicking, romping bluesy tune with a good tempo for dancing jumping up and down spasmodically, and the lyrics are pretty fun; not quite as inscrutable as some of this other tunes but non-obvious and amusing nonetheless.

Siena likes the song so much that when I started playing it for Thalia tonight (getting her indoctrinated, too) while Siena was in the bath, Siena told Mama that she could hear her favorite song and could barely be detained long enough to get dried off and dressed for bed before hustling down the hall to dance with us.

We use the Microsoft Zune software (the Zune Pass is a nice value because of the large library for streaming and the 10 free MP3 song credits that come with it per month), and for popular artists, status of which Dylan obviously qualifies, the Zune music player shows photos of the artist when their songs are playing. So Siena points at the screen as images of Dylan from various decades fade in and out and says, “Is he the one singing” or playing guitar; recently, “Is that Bob Dylan;” and tonight, when it displayed his name, “Does B O B spell Bob?” We’ll be moving her onto Highway 61 Revisited in no time.

Laughing and dancing with your kids and your wife to music of your mom’s favorite singer? Doesn’t get much better than that.


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