From Bob Dylan’s last Christian album “Shot of Love,” comes one of Dylan’s 10 Greatest Songs according to Rolling Stone, the lyrically transcendent “Every Grain of Sand.” For Dylan, it was a song of humility from the pain of self-awareness and utter abandonment to the Master’s sovereignty over the natural world.
Consider the song’s last three stanzas:
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.
Dylan would later describe the process for writing “Every Grain of Sand” as “an inspired song that just came to me... I felt like I was just putting words down that were coming from somewhere else.”