In a Bend of the River, Driftin’ Too Far from Shore

The Cinch Review

Bend of the River Driftin Too Far from Shore
Yours Truly and his better half happened to be watching the classic western movie “Bend of the River” the other night night (directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart and Arthur Kennedy), and I had one of those weird Bob-Dylan-fan-déjà-vu moments. A line spoken by one of the characters started a Bob Dylan song going in my head, but I didn’t quite locate which song it was in my mind until after the film was done. The line is spoken by Arthur Kennedy (playing the outlaw Emerson Cole) to Jimmy Stewart (playing the reforming-outlaw Glyn McClyntock), as Cole is leaving McClyntock behind after hijacking the wagons that were bringing desperately-needed supplies to some settlers in Oregon. Previously, the Stewart character had saved the Kennedy character from being hung by vigilantes. Since then, there had been a number of additional violent scrapes, and Kennedy’s character had arguably saved Stewart’s life at least a couple of times. So, after robbing and abandoning him, he says this to Stewart/McClyntock: “I figure we’re even. Maybe I’m one up on ya.”

Dylan incorporated this into his 1986 song “Driftin’ Too Far from Shore,” in the last two lines of the following verse: Continue reading “In a Bend of the River, Driftin’ Too Far from Shore”