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Dylan got a touch of HIV and spent years bellyaching about it.

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  1. 1. THE DISEASE OF CONCEIT 1989Theres a whole lot of people suffering tonightFrom the disease of conceit.Whole lot of people struggling tonightFrom the disease of conceit.“Theres a whole lot of people suffering tonight” there are innumerable, countless peoplesuffering from a symptom of some disorder of epidemic proportions “From the disease ofconceit” from HIV/AIDS. Why “Conceit?” arrogance, Dylan had an unduly high opinion of hisown abilities when it came to avoiding sexually transmitted diseases “Whole lot of peoplestruggling tonight” many people are strenuously engaged by a problem caused by “the diseaseof conceit” HIV/AIDS.Comes right down the highwayStraight down the lineRips into your sensesThrough your body and your mind.Nothing about it thats sweetThe disease of conceit.“Comes right down the highway” comes right out of the American public where it first reachedepidemic proportions before blowing back to sub-Saharan Africa “Straight down the line” andbecomes part of America’s future; You Wanna Ramble 1986 “Well, I told my baby / Furtherdown the line / I said, What happens tomorrow / Is on your head, not mine” “Rips” subjects youto a vehement attack entering “into your senses” into your sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell“Through your body and your mind” and does not forget a goddamn thing “Nothing about itthats sweet” nothing about it that is pleasing, it is immoral “The disease of conceit” HIV/AIDS.Theres a whole lot of people dying tonightFrom the disease of conceit,Whole lot of people crying tonightFrom the disease of conceit,“Theres a whole lot of people dying tonight” AIDS reached epidemic proportions and wasconsidered a fatal disease when this poem was composed “From the disease of conceit” fromHIV/AIDS “Whole lot of people crying tonight” many people are demanding an immediateremedy “From the disease of conceit” for HIV/AIDSComes right out of nowhereAnd youre down for the countFrom the outside world,The pressure will mount,
  2. 2. Turn you into a piece of meat,The disease of conceit.“Comes right out of nowhere” suddenly it appears several years after infection “And youre downfor the count” as HIV disease progresses, the T-cell count goes down from a normal count of500-1500 cells in a cubic millimeter of blood (a drop, more or less) down to as low as zero.When the T-cell count goes below 200, there is an increased risk of opportunistic infections, andwhen the T-cell count drops below 50, the risk rises dramatically. Also “down for the count” as aknockout in boxing. Also as in Knocked Out Loaded, the title of a Bob Dylan LP. “From theoutside world” from opportunistic infections “The pressure will mount” the state of urgentlydemanding notice and attention will surface “Turn you into a piece of meat” it will turn you into acorpse “The disease of conceit.”Conceit is a diseaseThat the doctors got no cureTheyve done a lot of research on itBut what it is, theyre still not sure“Conceit is a disease” HIV/AIDS is a disease “That the doctors got no cure” that is still incurable“Theyve done a lot of research on it” there has been a lot of scientific study of the HIV/AIDSvirus “But what it is, theyre still not sure” this poem was written in the early 1980’s before theHIV virus was identified.Theres a whole lot of hearts breaking tonightFrom the disease of conceitWhole lot of hearts shaking tonightFrom the disease of conceit.“Theres a whole lot of hearts” many people’s central and innermost physical parts “breakingtonight” being weakened and destroyed in health; overwhelmed with adversity “From thedisease of conceit” from HIV/AIDS “Whole lot of hearts shaking tonight” there are numeroushuman beings trembling in fear, there are many people trying to get rid of a disease “shake,”slang; to get rid of, ‘couldnt shake this cold’ “From the disease of conceit” from HIV/AIDSSteps into your roomEats your soulOver your sensesYou have no control.Aint nothing too discreetAbout of disease of conceit.“Steps” enters abruptly and unwanted into a situation “into your room” into your life “Eats” andcauses persistent annoyance and distress, eats away “your soul” your innermost being “Overyour senses” that which you perceive by a physical sensation such as your bowels “You have
  3. 3. no control” you have no authority over your body and you become incontinent “Ain’t nothing toodiscreet” sarcastic; there is nothing one would wish to hide “About of disease of conceit” aboutHIV/AIDS.Theres a whole lot of people in trouble tonightFrom the disease of conceit,Whole lot of people seeing double tonightFrom the disease of conceit,“Theres a whole lot of people in trouble tonight” there are numerous people experiencing acondition of pain, disease, and malfunction “From the disease of conceit” from HIV/AIDS “Wholelot of people seeing double tonight / From the disease of conceit” about 75% of AIDS patientsdevelop eye problems of some sort. The retina is most commonly affected. Tiny retinalhemorrhages and cotton-wool spots are early signs of infection and are often detected during aneye exam.Give ya delusions of grandeurAnd a evil eyeGive you idea thatYoure too good to die,Then they bury you from your head to your feetFrom the disease of conceit.“Give ya delusions of grandeur” AIDS HIV will cause you to experience psychotic episodes “Anda evil eye” involving paranoia; “Evil eye” a look or stare believed to cause injury and misfortuneto others “Give you the idea that / Youre too good to die” give you the delusion that you are notspoiled and ruined and you will not succumb to the virus “Then they bury you from your head toyour feet” then they put you in your grave “From the disease of conceit.”