“Eyes that dance around without their clothes” –Ryan Adams in My Winding Wheel

Full lyrics to My Winding Wheel
Guitar Sheet Music

The phrase “no clothes” is about being naked but it’s not a body that is naked. I think it’s about being able to see through a person and into their soul. It’s in the use of the word “eyes.” The eyes are known to give away a person. The whole phrase goes, “Precious little thing with eyes that dance without their clothes.” The subject is a young woman. Innocent. The way she carries herself–her body language –is unstudied. He emphasizes her eyes because she isn’t aware that she gives herself away with how she may look sideways, down, away, or right at him. Young, carefree, unsullied. No guards up. The guy obviously thinks he has excellent mind-reading abilities. I’m trying not to think of Edward Cullen the Vampire booger from Twilight.

See NPR for an explanation of the word ‘booger’ Obviously this is an edited job because I wrote this post before this article came from NPR. But it fits so well. I hope I’m not violating any big blogging rules.

“So buy a pretty dress for all the boys you think could outdo me.”

They are so comfortable with each other that they can tease and taunt like this. Each one knows that the other won’t leave. It’s a solid, invisible pact between these two.

So the question is, what is a winding wheel? Apparently, Bob Dylan scratched Ryan Adams over this question because what is a winding wheel? I guess that for the purpose of this song, which he is addressing to a lover, a winding wheel is a metaphor for the ultimate soul mate. The person that is with you for the rest of your life guiding you when you’re lost and inspiring you when you need inspiration. Driving force, the reason to keep going. That sort of thing. It’s sounds so cheesy when I analyze it. Just go listen to the song 100 times.

“Well the children laugh and sing a song that ushers in her driving rain”

The line is confusing. But I think it might be about how the thought of having a family makes the girl consider being with him. The idea of a decision (I’m talking about a milestone decision) is seen in the phrase “driving rain” since rain is often used to represent a turning point. This idea comes from how rain comes in the spring and springtime is for renewal of life. Life. Trees. The birds and the bees. The word “driving” gives us the idea of coming to the turning point.

This song is a marriage proposal when he tells the girl, “Be my winding wheel.”

look inside
My Winding Wheel
By Ryan Adams. For guitar. Folk; Pop; Rock. Guitar TAB. 5 pages. Published by Hal Leonard – Digital Sheet Music (HX.6198).

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