The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place
When the bones of someones face are showing it’s usually due to malnutrition (generally speaking), the people whose faces the ghost of electricity are howling into could’ve been his then-wife Sara Lownds or a vague reference to his previous relationship with Joan Baez, with the bones symbolising the longing they had for Bob’s presence, a sense of emotional starvation and fatigue, which had been replaced by the giant machine that was now his rock'n'roll lifestyle, with Johanna possibly playing the central symbolic roll as the temptation he was dealing with at the time, or the stress of business, fans and the media. He has no time for them, he’s too busy living and dealing with that erratic lifestyle. The presence of him is still clear in their faces, they still love him, which is why this could be a reference to Sara, because in Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, a song widely believed to be about Sara, he references to her “hollow face”.
Bob Dylan and Sara:
Bob Dylan and Joan:
Also, a ghost is something that you cannot see, it paints the bleak sense of the loneliness they felt when he left them. Due to ghosts being things people usually feel more than see it could be Dylan referring to how he has never left them emotionally, and he’s still there with them, “haunting them” so to speak.
Due to ghost’s not being seen it could also be a reference to Dylan’s mythological cult figure status that the media had conjured up about his persona during that time. Dylan would essentially be referring to himself as the “ghost or rock'n'roll.”
Also, ghosts are dead, which could be a reference to his past life as folk musician now being completely over. It could also be a larger reference to the fact that “electric music” is essentially dead to the radical folk musicians that Dylan previously surrounded himself with.
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