Monday, May 17, 2021

Bob Dylan, revisited

My son Dylan asked once, back when he was in college: "So how did you come up with my name?" I laughed, because if he asked his father the same question, he'd get a whole 'nuther answer. 

So I explained that his father loved Dylan Thomas, and suggested the name Dylan. His mother agreed, because she loved Bob Dylan. (She was wise enough not to mention the difference. Even at that point, she knew that she was not so refined as her husband thought she should be). 

So Dylan was born, and Dylan he was, named after a drunken Welsh poet or a drug addled American poet/folk singer, depending on who you were speaking to. Since Dylan was speaking to me, he got my version and since Dylan was going through a classic rock phase, he thought it was cool to be named after a singer.

"So where did 'Christopher' come from?"

"Since your father thought he picked the first name, I got to pick your second. It's from Winnie the Pooh. You were named after Christopher Robin. 'But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.' "

Long pause, and then Dylan said, " let's just keep that little story between the two of us." 

And I never told a soul.

Don't you, either. 


  1. My youngest son is named after Dylan Thomas too!!!

    Here is a piece I wrote on his 5th birthday that explains a little and which you might like - it was later published in my first book


    Five years. Has it really been that long?

    It feels like yesterday and forever. So much life in such a short time.

    Time Passes. Tick-tock, Tick-tock...

    So wrote Dylan Thomas, after whom you’re named. I wished you his genius if not his weakness. You have his charisma already, and his bombastic ways - you sing like a Welshman too! But I forgive you your faults, as I always will.

    Strangely, I can't remember your birth, perhaps because it was so early in the morning. What I do recall is bringing you home. And your brothers sitting on the bed; looking not touching, just as they were told - then gently, one at a time, holding your hand. They wanted you to wake, but you slept through it all, oblivious.

    Oblivious too of the years of yearning, the three miscarriages, the nuchal scans, the waiting for results, the tests and more tests - and the waiting - always more waiting - until the final phone call. And when it came, the nurse asked if I was sitting down.

    'All clear,' she said.

    You see that's the thing about probability - it doesn't work in the real world. There is only one you and you were always perfect. Just like there's no probability or quantum for love: you either do or you don't; all or nothing, no half-measures. And every day you remind me of that simple, inexpressible, fact.

    Happy birthday Dylan; it's the least and the most I can say.

  2. I guess it was pretty well the same for me, only in reverse. My mother picked the first name and my father the second. My middle name is Stanley, after his father's middle name, and also the name that he went by. I never liked it growing up, but it's okay now, except I still don't feel like a Stan.

  3. What a lovely post Debby - promise I won't tella soul.

  4. My parents made a deal that if it was a boy, my biological father would name me and if I had been a girl, mom would have named me (Amanda). My biological father won and named both my brother and I and my mom never really explained how my biological father came up with my name. If I ever see my biological father again before he or I depart this earth, it is on my list of things to ask him.

  5. I remember that line from "Winnie the Pooh." (I think it was actually the last line of "The House at Pooh Corner," wasn't it?) When I read it as a kid it made me cry! Tell that to Dylan and maybe he'll feel less embarrassed by comparison. :)

  6. Lips are sealed here! Great story. x

  7. Apparently I was going to be called John, until I arrived and turned out to be a darned girl.

  8. I was introduced to a colleague's new son, Dylan. "Oh, the poet," I remarked. Blank stare. "No, the singer".

  9. Dylan Thomas spent a lot of time in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire. I have been there several times and laid flowers on his humble grave with its little white wooden cross.. Of course Robert Zimmerman was also beguiled by Thomas's life and his way with words and that is why he picked Dylan as his stage name.

  10. We won't tell him that you shared it with Blog World! :)

  11. Same here, lol. I won't tell, anyway thanks for sharing!


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