Quiz about Dylan Song by Song Isis
Quiz about Dylan Song by Song Isis

Dylan Song by Song: "Isis" Trivia Quiz


"Isis" is Bob Dylan's 34th greatest song of all time according to the 2020 Rolling Stone magazine list. Learn more about this song.

A multiple-choice quiz by skylarb. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
skylarb
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
409,799
Updated
Jul 24 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
117
Last 3 plays: muzzyhill3 (9/10), stephedm (10/10), Guest 92 (8/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. What American singer and songwriter known for her albums "Tidal" and "Extraordinary Machine" said "Isis" gave her a "sexual awakening"? Hint

Adele
Amy Winehouse
Madona
Fiona Apple

2. Bob Dylan wrote "Isis" with what songwriter, clinical psychologist, and theater director? Hint

Jean Piaget
Martin Scorsese
Jacques Levy
Christopher Marlowe

3. Isis was the goddess of fertility in which culture? Hint

Roman
Aztec
Mayan
Egyptian

4. What was unique about Bob Dylan's performance of "Isis" during his Rolling Thunder Revue tour? Hint

In a rare departure, he didn't play his harmonica on the song
He performed it without a guitar and with his face painted white
He always performed the entire song with his back to the audience
He hummed the song instead of singing it

5. When does the singer marry Isis? Hint

December 25
May 5
July 4
August 6

6. What was the weather like when the singer and Isis married? Hint

A drizzling rain
A howling wind
A bright sunshine
A gentle breeze

7. "I came to a high place of darkness and light / The dividing line ran through the center of town. / I hitched up my pony to a post on the right" and then went into what? Hint

The theater
The bank
The laundry
The brothel

8. What season best describes the weather as the singer and his companion go tomb raiding in "Isis"? Hint

summer
winter
autumn
spring

9. What does the singer do after throwing his tomb-raiding partner down in the hole and putting back the cover? Hint

Says a quick prayer
Rides back to murders Isis
Steals the jewels from the tomb for himself
Falls to his knees and weeps

10. "I was thinkin' about turquoise, I was thinkin' about gold / I was thinkin' about diamonds and the world's biggest necklace / As we rode through the canyons, through the devilish cold / I was thinkin' about Isis, how she thought I was so" what? Hint

feckless
worthless
restless
reckless


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. What American singer and songwriter known for her albums "Tidal" and "Extraordinary Machine" said "Isis" gave her a "sexual awakening"?

Answer: Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple was born in 1977 in New York City. Her debut album, "Tidal," which was inspired by her breakup with her boyfriend, was released in 1996. In an interview with Pitchfork in 2020, Fiona Apple said that on "Isis," Dylan "sort of gave me my sexual awakening a little bit."
2. Bob Dylan wrote "Isis" with what songwriter, clinical psychologist, and theater director?

Answer: Jacques Levy

Levy is known for directing Sam Shepard's play "Red Cross." He met Bob Dylan in the mid-seventies through Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, with whom he collaborated on "Gene Tryp." Levy worked with Dylan on "Isis" and several other songs on the "Desire" album, including "Joey" and "Hurricane."
3. Isis was the goddess of fertility in which culture?

Answer: Egyptian

Isis is an Egyptian mythological figure, the daughter of the earth god and sky goddess. She bore a son, Horus, to Osiris, an Egyptian god who presided over the court that determined the fate of kings upon their deaths. Isis has been alternately known as the goddess of fertility, motherhood, death, healing, and rebirth.
4. What was unique about Bob Dylan's performance of "Isis" during his Rolling Thunder Revue tour?

Answer: He performed it without a guitar and with his face painted white

Rolling Stone magazine describes his performance thus: "With his face painted white, Dylan would stalk the stage like a shaman, using only his voice, harmonica, hands and body to illustrate the song's tall tale. It was the first time most fans had ever seen him perform in concert without a guitar." Rolling Stone rated the song number 34 on its 2020 list of the one hundred greatest Bob Dylan songs of all time.
5. When does the singer marry Isis?

Answer: May 5

"I married Isis on the fifth day of May
But I could not hold on to her very long."

This is not a direct allusion to Bob Dylan's marriage to Sara, as they married on November 22, 1965. Why the fifth day of May? Jacques Levy, asked about the significance of the date in a May 2004 interview for "Prism Films", answered, "I don't know the significance. And I don't care. I tell people: make up your own significance."
6. What was the weather like when the singer and Isis married?

Answer: A drizzling rain

"Isis, oh, Isis, you're a mystical child
What drives me to you is what drives me insane
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzlin' rain."

Isis is written in ballad format, which typically consists of four-lined stanzas quatrains) rhyming ABAB. Bob Dylan performed the song live over 45 times between 1975 and 2020.
7. "I came to a high place of darkness and light / The dividing line ran through the center of town. / I hitched up my pony to a post on the right" and then went into what?

Answer: The laundry

"I hitched up my pony to a post on the right
Went in to the laundry to wash my clothes down."

It is there in the laundry that the singer meets an interesting figure with whom he will begin a tomb-raiding quest. The song "Isis" is often regarded to be a metaphor for Dylan's marriage to Sara, who was in the studio the day he recorded the song. Rolling Stone magazine calls it "an elaborate allegory of their marriage, separation and brief reunion - reimagined as the epic quest of a narrator who must trek through icy storms, scale pyramids and rob an ancient grave before winning back his runaway bride."
8. What season best describes the weather as the singer and his companion go tomb raiding in "Isis"?

Answer: winter

In the song, they "set out that night for the cold in the North" and the singer gives his partner his blanket in exchange for his word. Furthermore, the pyramids are "all embedded in ice" and "the wind it was howlin' and the snow was outrageous."

"Isis" was first released on Bob Dylan's January 1976 album "Desire," produced by Don DeVito. A live performance from December 4, 1975 was included on the soundtrack for his film "Renaldo and Clara" and on the 1985 compilation "Biograph."
9. What does the singer do after throwing his tomb-raiding partner down in the hole and putting back the cover?

Answer: Says a quick prayer

"I broke into the tomb, but the casket was empty
There was no jewels, no nothin', I felt I'd been had
When I saw that my partner was just bein' friendly
When I took up his offer I must-a been mad

I picked up his body and I dragged him inside
Threw him down in the hole and I put back the cover
I said a quick prayer then I felt satisfied
Then I rode back to find Isis just to tell her I love her."

On the version of "Isis" recorded on "Desire," Bob Dylan provides vocals, piano, and harmonica while Scarlet Rivera plays violin. Rob Stoner supplies bass guitar and Howie Wyeth is on drums.
10. "I was thinkin' about turquoise, I was thinkin' about gold / I was thinkin' about diamonds and the world's biggest necklace / As we rode through the canyons, through the devilish cold / I was thinkin' about Isis, how she thought I was so" what?

Answer: reckless

The American singer and songwriter Ryan Adams covered "Isis" during a 2006 Bob Dylan tribute concert. Popa Chubby covered it on his 1996 album "Hit the High Hard One." A live version of "Isis" appears on "The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" and on "The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings."
Source: Author skylarb

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