Joan & Bob – ”Diamonds and rust…”

motto:“I once loved you dearly…
And if you’re offering me diamonds and rust
Well, I’ve already paid…”(Joan Baez)

Joan Baez composed ‘Diamonds and Rust’ about 40 years ago, and her song was ‘addressed’ to Bob Dylan – THE love of her life, and it’s always stayed in her repertory. Decades later, she continues to sing it without bitterness, with no regret: it’s a noble melody – serene, realistic, sad, relentless. Joan sings the solitude of the woman who’s recently split with her lover, but she’s kept deep fondness for the man who shared her life for awhile. One night of full moon, her phone rings, she answers and she recognizes the voice of the one she passionately loved, with whom she lived the most beautiful season of her life. He wants to see her again, but her “mad” passion is far behind her, light years away. Nevertheless, his unexpected phone call brings back memories of a forgotten time, vanished into a no-return past. The quiet, reserved, discreet, classy lady agrees to meet her restless ex-boyfriend whom she used to dearly love, in spite of all their differences. He’s already become an icon, a living legend, yet the same free-minded and kinky “provocateur”, venerated by the crowds. She recalls their love story, he’s on stage, at the height of his glory, and afterwards, in a whirlwind of dead leaves with snow in his hair…
* * *
pix of the legendary ex-couple from…

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He stands in front of a hotel window, he seems to be ‘lost’ and disoriented
without her, yet his smile hasn’t changed. His ‘harsh’ statements about her ‘weak’ poems come back to her mind, and she asks him to find appropriate words that could express her love. She really wants to heal, as her open wound has triggered much pain after their separation. For the English native speakers, the lyrics of this song are quite simple, oscillating between the past and the present, Joan’s tune and her voice are a perfect vector that conveys deep emotions and true feelings. In fact, it’s a timeless text whose main idea would be: some pleasant memories are as precious as a diamond, but they sometimes show up with sadness(rust). Joan’s song is overwhelming with bitter-sweet nostalgia, dreams and disappointments, it does touch our hearts that shed a tear, just like the famous version of:”plaisir d’amour dure un moment, chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie – pleasure of love lasts only a moment, grief of love lasts a lifetime…” In 2007, Miss Baez replaced a few words:’if you’re offering me diamonds and rust, I’ll only keep your diamonds…’ 🙂
* * *
N.B. WHY has Joan chosen ‘diamonds’? –  because a diamond is the ultimate gemstone and the hardest substance found in nature, having low weakness, high strength, a broad color range, high refraction and high dispersion of fire – thus, positive qualities… 🙂  


About Mél@nie Mélanie Bedos-Toulouse @ Facebook

Posted on 28 April 2015, in melanie. Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.

  1. What a fascinating biography of Joan. I too love that song. And thanks for the lesson on diamonds… a girl’s best friend. ❤

  2. Thank you for this story, Melanie. Joan Baez is a beautiful lady. And Bob Dylan, well… we all know.

  3. I remember when she lost her beautiful little sister Mimi – I also read her story not that long ago. Amazing woman!

  4. Love Joan, but many years ago I was a bartender and this lady came in every night and played this song over and over again. “Well I’ll be damned, here comes your ghost again…”

    • O.K. Maverick, I got your point and all I can reply is:”de gustibus et de coloribus non disputandum…” – “in matters of tastes and colors, there can be no disputes.” 🙂

  5. Thanks for this post. This is one of my favorite Baez songs. I believe rhat it was the first of her own compositions that she recorded. Anybody who knew anything about Baez immediately knew who the song was referencing. Great song!

  6. Reblogged this on Say WHAT!? and commented:
    This post is incredible soulful and touching.

  7. This made me cry. Thank you for such a touching post.

  8. Dans ma jeunesse, j’étais fan de Joan Baez et Bob Dylan. J’aimais aussi Léonard Cohen.
    Merci de ton article qui me ramène en arrière. Mo

  9. Lovely post! Is she really that old? Am I? WOW! I certainly don’t feel it and she looks beautiful. It’s funny that you mention their love. Bob is back on the touring circuit. Very few people of that era still perform.

    I liked what you said about diamonds, too! 😀

  10. Un articol frumos, Melanie. Muzica, povestea și înfățișarea distinsă a lui Joan Baez m-au cucerit din nou. Mulțumesc pentru aceste momente. O zi frumoasă, Melanie!

  11. Let it be, let it be… Ehei… Da’ ce bine arată Joan Baez, aș spune că mai bine decât în tinerețe. Zi frumoasă, Melania! 🙂

  12. A legendary couple and a great song… with a beautiful cover by metal band Judas Priest, which made Joan laugh in her biography 😀

  13. Joli mois de mai, Mélanie! je t’embrasse, Liz

  14. Bob Dylan’s music has been the soundtrack of much of my life, although I always felt that his behaviour towards Joan Baez was particularly shabby. I love how you phrased your piece. Bravo!

  15. Elle est un trésor!

  16. … still one of my favorite songs, a real eternal 🙂

  17. More favourites of mine; the song and the singers. 🙂

  18. Elle était dans ma liste des “oubliées des inrocks”, c’est comique. L’album éponyme de 1975 est très bien!

  19. great song, but she was wasted on Dylan.

  20. Păi da! Semeni! Legat de text – deşi tradus marca “translate”, m-a emoţionat. Este o poveste de dragoste cum se întâmplă de foarte multe ori pe orice continent şi ca de fiecare dată când dragostea nu este consumată sentimentele sunt devastatoare.

    • dragostea a fost “consumata” câtiva ani, însa despartirea lor a fost teribila – pentru amândoi, iar Lady Joan, la peste 74 ani, continua sa încânte generatii de “fani”… 🙂

  21. Great singer – great song.

  22. Oooh, you chose one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite folk singers. I once went to a concert at Yale with Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Pete Seeger. I was in heaven! And doesn’t she look fabulous at 74! Dylan missed out on a good thing!

    • I used to live in Paris for several years, I was lucky to see her and to listen to her wonderful songs “en direct-live”: she’s beyond amazing! ❤ Bob did lose a terrific lady! btw, she's a January Cappy gal, like me! 🙂

  23. sweet! Bob always was like a rolling stone 🙂

  24. I notice it’s Joan Baez who’s always looking at Bob Dylan in the pictures. I saw a picture of Bob Dylan’s son. Did they have a child?

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