Bob Dylan

Today marks the birthday of a favourite artist of mine and one of David’s own musical idols: Bob Dylan. I know that I want to listen to, and focus on, his songs and little else today (well, look at the time, I guess I already have), and hope you can further indulge me.

I’d very much like to hear your submissions for his strongest lines (true, how long have you got? Better make that his angriest, funniest, loveliest, saddest, cleverest, etc.), the tracks that seem to end too soon and the most unrecognisable live versions of his songs (as performed by Bob himself, naturally). Feel free to share your concert memories, or a video that you want others to see. (Check out the 19 uploads to Sony Music Entertainment’s Bob Dylan channel on YouTube and allow me to suggest that you make your first selection a tight version of ‘Cold Irons Bound’.) Or add just about anything else you care to throw in, really. Yes, we can even speak of that slightly sinful up-tempo Mark Ronson remix; I think enough time has now passed.

Similarly controversially, did you make any sense of director Todd Haynes’ 2007 I’m Not There biopic? I have to admit, I couldn’t make head nor tail of it.

We once speculated as to which of Dylan’s tracks David could cover with most remarkable results – here – so do browse over the many excellent ideas and add yours, if you wish. Current thought: ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ could be good.

Paste magazine’s 50 best cover versions is a decent read, knowing that many of you prefer Dylan’s songs as interpreted by others. (You’re forgiven, by the way.)

Just think: Bob Dylan has been able, for close to fifty years now, to make your spine tingle in response to the anger of ‘Idiot Wind’ or the hatred in ‘Masters of War’; to chuckle at the satire, if not length and supposed unsuitability of titles such as ‘Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues’; to sympathise with him as he describes the stop-start corkscrew-to-the-heart pain of separation that we’ve all felt at times but never summarised so perfectly. He’s written some quite beautiful love songs: ‘To Ramona’, once said to be David’s favourite, is a case in point. But he’s also been so deliciously cruel – just see the Washington Post‘s precise list of five Dylan ‘kiss-offs’ for a few choice cuts.

Whether unplugged or plugged in, whether a fan or not, you have to acknowledge the excellence in songs tinged by biting social commentary, an often tortured religious faith, the driest of wits, and enhanced further still by all those delightfully indistinct moments of characteristic, deliberate Bob vagueness. There’ll never be another like Bob Dylan. Well, be fair, who could even come close?

The chat, scheduled for today, will now take place tomorrow at the same time: 3pm (UK). I apologise for any inconvenience or irritation that this postponement may have caused you and hope to catch you tomorrow instead. I’ll still be saluting Bob tomorrow, as he deserves more than one day each year to be hailed. If I haven’t adequately expressed my admiration, I’ll close by adding that he’s the finest poet of the 20th century (for ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ and ‘Gates of Eden’ alone), a genius arranger of words and the inspirational voice of not one generation, but of several. Tomorrow, perhaps, we can discuss these brazen statements further over a cyber-glass or two of Le Terrazze Planet Waves.

So, having heaped such open and sincere praise on the man, in descending numerical order, your 136 (or 142, if you prefer) favourite Bob Dylan songs are…?

I jest, but I will listen to mine, even if I cannot confidently put them in order.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

68 thoughts on “Bob Dylan”

  1. … I must admit that I’m not Mr. Dylan’s biggest fan, but I’m impressed with his achievements in music and else. Of course there are quite a few songs that he wrote and that will ever be played on air, and by coincidence I showed my daughter how to play “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” on the guitar today.

    Dear FEd, I must leave out the remaining 135 (or 141) songs to other, more competent, fellow bloggers.

    Taki

    PS. Off-Topic to this entry, but on-topic to the blog: issue 6/10 of the German magazine guitar, includes a longer story about “Wish You Were Here”, including some notes. Hey, this album is now 35 years old, I can’t believe that…

    PS. (2): I was at Wels, Austria with 2 of my children when AC/DC played there last Saturday. 95000 people, rain and thunderstorm (yes, and before the so named song started) did remind me of the pictures I’ve seen of Woodstock, although the music was very different. Not the best sound, but a great party…

    1. We saw Dylan in Sofia, we now want the Lord. 🙁

      Please, please, please… we want Gilmour live in Sofia.

  2. “Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
    There’s a fire outside and it’s ragin’
    And he who gets hurt will be he who has stalled
    The time, they are a-changin'”

    How I wish this were still the mood in this country. Sadly, we seem to have grown complacent with the abuse hurled at us daily by our “leaders,” political and otherwise. We may be angry with where things are at, but we keep it in because we are afraid to speak out. He who has stalled these days is usually he who has gotten away with it.

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  4. Happy Birthday, Bob!

    There are so many enlightening songs he wrote that it’s impossible to list all of them that had a profound impact on my life in such a small input field. Elvis once said that without a song the world would never bend. Bob and Lenny helped my world to bend as much as Pink Floyd, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones did and I appreciate it very much.

    My favorite Dylan Tunes: Lay lady Lay, To Make You Feel My Love, Blowin’ In The Wind, The Times They Are A-Changin’

    Least favorite: It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

    Everything else is excellent material as well.

  5. That’s a really good version of ‘Cold Irons Bound’.

    Did you know that this song won a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1998? It’s always been one of my favourites.

    I didn’t realise that it was his birthday yesterday. I’ll celebrate it today by listening to my favourite album from him, Time Out of Mind.

  6. We were lucky enough to see him when he played Glasgow last year. It was a brilliant concert, I loved when everybody tried to sing along with “Like a Rolling Stone” and couldn’t, priceless. They all had to just shut up and listen. That man is just so damn cool.

    Nope, I didn’t get ‘I’m Not There’ at all. I thought maybe it was just me, as I really don’t know that much of his history.

    My favourite cover would be a toss up between George Harrison doing ‘If Not For You’; Kelly Jones doing ‘Positively 4th Street’ (although Bryan Ferry does a damn fine ‘4th Street’, actually, his ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ is a cracker too) and The Byrds ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.

    Favourite piece of imagery: “You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing”.

    Although for shear escapism:

    “Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
    Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
    With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
    Let me forget about today until tomorrow”

    Favourite songs:

    Positively 4th Street
    Visions of Johanna
    Not Dark Yet
    Mr Tambourine Man
    Hurricane
    Simple Twist of Fate
    Baby Stop Crying
    Is You Love in Vain
    Forever Young
    All I Really Want To Do
    Blowin’ In the Wind
    Jokerman
    Gotta Serve Somebody
    Make You Feel My Love
    Sad-Eyed Lady of The Lowlands

  7. I’m young enough that Dylan had pretty much put all his good stuff on tape before I discovered music. Because of this my favorite Dylan song has changed several times as my sensibilities are changed through life experience. I don’t think I have one today.

    Past favorites include – You Ain’t Going Nowhere – Tangled Up in Blue – Hurricane – The Time Times They are a Changin’ – in no particular order.

    1. Hi, Twitter friend. Thanks for writing. 🙂

      If anyone reading this doesn’t follow my tweets, Martin is @PlasticLess on Twitter and has a blog which encourages people to reconsider their unnecessary over-use of plastic. Today he included a link to such an upsetting BBC video showing the quite staggering range of discarded plastic found to have been ingested by albatross, which I hope shames you as much as it shames me into challenging this completely confected ‘need’ for plastic-everything. You can see it here.

      Thanks again for your time, Martin.

  8. OK, so my favourite 142 Bob Dylan songs – as of now – would have to have the following 42 right at the top of the list (shown here in alphabetical order, not order of preference, I’m not that mad):

    A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
    All Along the Watchtower
    Ballad in Plain D
    Blowin’ in the Wind
    Buckets of Rain
    Chimes of Freedom
    Desolation Row
    Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
    Gates of Eden
    Girl From the North Country

    Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance
    Hurricane
    I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
    Idiot Wind
    It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
    It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
    Joey
    Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
    Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
    Like a Rolling Stone

    Love Sick
    Most Likely You Go Your Way (and I’ll Go Mine)
    Mr Tambourine Man
    My Back Pages
    Nettie Moore
    Not Dark Yet
    Obviously 5 Believers
    One More Cup Of Coffee
    One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
    Oxford Town

    Positively 4th Street
    Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
    Simple Twist of Fate
    Standing in the Doorway
    Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
    Subterranean Homesick Blues
    Tangled Up in Blue
    The Times They Are A-Changin’
    Tomorrow Is a Long Time
    Tryin’ To Get To Heaven

    When I Paint My Masterpiece
    You’re a Big Girl Now

    1. Oh dear. I stupidly left out the following:

      Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ (Most captivating video ever, you think?)
      Bob Dylan’s Dream
      Cold Iron Bounds
      If Not For You
      Outlaw Blues

      Therefore, the following will just have to be demoted to the next tier:

      Desolation Row
      Not Dark Yet
      Oxford Town
      Tangled Up in Blue
      When I Paint My Masterpiece

    2. Heck, ‘Dreamin’ of You’ deserves to be right up there, don’t you think? I possibly like it more than ‘When I Paint My Masterpiece’…

      Decisions, decisions.

  9. The enemy is subtle, how be it we’re deceived???

    When the truth’s in our hearts and we still don’t believe???

  10. Hello everyone. It’s a a beautiful morning here and the birdies are very loud today. I think cats often kill them to make them shut their beaks.

    Happy birthday Bob!

    I’m going to mention a few of my favorite Dylan songs but, since I stress myself out trying to make lists, it’s not a complete list of favorites for certain. I just can’t choose favorites.

    Visions Of Johanna
    Idiot Wind (Hard Rain version)
    It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
    Meet Me In The Morning
    Shelter From The Storm (Hard Rain version)
    Simple Twist Of Fate (Jeff Tweedy has a great version)
    Like A Rolling Stone (loved David’s long gone 30 sec reggae version)
    When I Paint My Masterpiece
    Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
    Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
    Going To Acapulco (Calexico & Jim James version)
    Buckets Of Rain (thinks David could do well)
    Not Dark Yet (I would not want to live without this song.I would most love to hear David Cover this one. It seems like something that would come natural to him.)

    I’m off to sit on the back porch and catch some fresh air before I come visit the chat. 🙂

  11. Happy birthday for yesterday Mr Dylan! I hope I’m half as cool as you are when I’m 69!

    Favourite song: Million Miles

    1. And as you rightly said in the chatroom earlier, what a truly terrible play on words chosen as the article’s title.

      God, I hate corny headlines.

    2. Off topic, but while we are at it (wine), has anyone already tasted the Pink Floyd Cabernet Sauvignon ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’?

      2006, a good year, no?

      And here there is a Château Miraval Côtes de Provence rosé labeled ‘Pink Floyd’ because the band recorded there ‘The Wall’.

      You will be pleased to know that the Miraval vineyards are certified organic, FEd. 😉

    3. 😛 @Lorraine.

      Those grapes?

      I think they generally just enjoy falling asleep when that fat old sun in the sky is falling… but, they sure have been woken up and totally blown away by this solo.

      No wonder 2006 was a good year for wine there. 😉

    4. Off topic:

      Michele, here is a photo of my cat Papuff. This photo was made 3 years ago before he left my home. This is a sweet memory and I miss him.

      Bye, Hydrea

    5. Lovely cat.

      I know the feeling of losing a cat. Mine died about two years ago. He was very special and I still miss him.

      He looked a bit like yours.

  12. A personal favorite for personal reasons: Woody and I go way back. Story of my life recently.

    Happy Birthday Bob Dylan.

    Song for Woody:

    Hey Hey Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song
    ‘Bout a funny old world that’s comin’ along
    It’s sick and it’s hungry, it’s tired and torn,
    It looks like it’s a-dyin’ and it’s hardly been born.

  13. ‘Lo All,

    Yep! The Hurricane for sure. What a tune! Amongst so many.

    I love the way Mr D. throws pictures into your head and I am not talking about the recent film! He’s One, of a few, of those ” Artists” who has the gift to do this, am I right?

    Some of his songs make me dance others make me sing, some just make me think. The Bobness has Risen. Mark of a true Genius.

    Saw him at Glasto many Moons ago. He was superb.

    Have fun all!

  14. Not a fan of The Zim… I can’t stand his voice, he probably wouldn’t like mine either. 😕

    He writes great songs but I like other people singing them. Last time I saw Eric Clapton he played “Not Dark Yet”… really nice song.

  15. I wonder if David still has the woolly jumpers!

    I’m not a big fan of music from the States. I always thought Bob as more a poet than a musician.

    Regards
    Damian.

  16. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of Bob. However, I do appreciate his artistry on his musical career and yes, I have played his music, recently on Saturday night with my guitar by the campfire.

    My good friend Steve, on harmonica, and I played “Like A Rolling Stone” to his friends at Wasaga Beach, Ontario. The Victoria Day celebrations and fireworks made us feel we were on stage.

    Thanks and Happy Birthday Bob.

  17. I’m not familiar with Dylan’s lyrics and don’t understand them when he sings, but I once read this and thought it was very well said:

    “I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
    And just for that one moment I could be you.
    Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
    You’d know what a drag it is to see you.”

    He has influenced many singers here too, especially Hugues Aufray who has a great admiration and an immense respect for him. He put out ‘Hugues Aufray chante Dylan’ in 1965, ‘Hugues Aufray Trans Dylan’ in 1996 and more recently (2009) ‘Newyorker’, another Dylan cover album (duets this time).

    Charlotte Gainsbourg also did a cover of ‘Just Like A Woman’ last year.

    I know, she cannot sing, she has no voice, we don’t understand what she says, but is that a problem? After all it’s a Dylan cover… 😉

    Anyway, I like her version.

    Last month, I read that Dylan had to cancel his 2010 Asian Tour, because “China’s Ministry of Culture did not give us permission to stage concerts in Beijing and Shanghai.”

    Here is the article.

    Looks like we are lucky to live in countries where freedom of speech and expression are (sometimes) respected.

    1. Last month, I read that Dylan had to cancel his 2010 Asian Tour, because “China’s Ministry of Culture did not give us permission to stage concerts in Beijing and Shanghai.”

      Which is another very good reason to dislike Bjork.

  18. I wouldn’t call myself a serious Dylan fan, and I’ve never seen him in concert, but I’ve always liked the odd song and agree that he is “the finest poet of the 20th century” and “a genius arranger of words”.

    My favourite album is “Desire” with the beautiful voice of Emmylou Harris.

    1. And the equally-beautiful violin of Scarlet Rivera.

      Good choice, Dunc. I think that would probably be my favourite Dylan album, as well. Either that or Blood on the Tracks. Or Blonde on Blonde. Or Bringing It All Back Home.

      Can’t do it, sorry.

      Hang on. Obviously it would have to be The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

  19. One for David to cover, perhaps?

    If only, Fed!!

    Thanks for the tweet… Spirit of 66 and all that rubbish… unbearable. Only 1 David Healey, Norn Iron V England – Windsor Park… what a goal!

    1. For me, it’s the goal and all-round performance of Leighton James at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, back in May 1980.

      Although this one from Aaron Ramsey recently, for the Under-21s, is a beauty.

  20. “Too much of nothing
    Can make a man abuse a king
    He can walk the streets and boast like most
    But he wouldn’t know a thing
    Now, it’s all been done before
    It’s all been written in the book
    But when there’s too much of nothing
    Nobody should look”

  21. Wow! I need to get a song book to read Dylan’s lyrics. I never really paid that much attention to them (gasp!)

    Acerbic comes to mind as a description for his mindset on some of these mentioned.

    You are an educated lot.

    Jan

  22. Here is my unique contribution to this entry. R. Stevie Moore doing the song “Who Killed Davey Moore?” on the Uncle Floyd show. Uncle Floyd was a local NY/NJ television shiow that was billed as a kids show but it was chock full of inuendo. He always had some kind of musical act on the show but due to low production budgets the performers always lip-synced their songs. The Ramones actually appeared several times on the show as well.

    As for this clip, I commend you if you get past the full 7 minutes. BUT, I will also say that I can actually see David doing a good job with this song.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  23. My choice for the 3 best and most influential rock/pop/folk musical artist ever = The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.

    Cheating I know, but below is a copy and paste of my review to “The Blog” after having seen Bob Dylan sometime around before the date below.

    16 November 2008 at 18:01

    Well Fed, went to Dylan last night. Not having seen him before I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve heard mixed reviews about his live shows.

    Well I’ve got to tell you, I’m totally blown away. By far, along with David’s performance, one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to many in my 54 years.

    He was wearing his white hat (gaucho style) and definitely playing the good guy as he was animated and really seemed to be enjoying himself. He got up from behind his keyboard many times to take front stage and wow us with his harmonica. We also got an added bonus by him playing guitar on a couple of songs. Couldn’t understand a word he was singing and it was beautiful.

    If you are interested, you can check out the setlist by going on to his website and scrolling down to Kingston after clicking the TOUR link at the top of the page.

    [Thanks, John; I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. Good setlist, nice to see ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’ included, although I wonder how many people recognised it. (I had to laugh at your line about not understanding a word he was singing.) By the way, his website is exceptional, isn’t it? Worthy of the man and his music. – FEd]

  24. Completely off topic, sorry, but I have to show you something.

    Here is the ball-shaped South Africa 2010 guitar. I saw it some days ago, in a shop of my city.

    What about it? :))

    1. :)) Horrible, I agree.

      I’d like to know who could buy something like that.

    2. OMG!! I have a horrible feeling that when this guitar was made, its maker stood back and said “Yeah, that’s nice!”

      I don’t expect that David will use this guitar in his next concert… or at any other time, really!!

  25. All Along the Watchtower
    Isis
    Tangled Up in Blue
    Most of the Time
    Gotta Serve Somebody
    Masters of War
    Outlaw Blues
    Subterranean Homesick Blues
    Buckets of Rain
    It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
    It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
    Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
    Like a Rolling Stone
    Girl From the North Country
    Ballad in Plain D
    Bob Dylan’s Dream
    One More Cup of Coffee
    Not Dark Yet
    If Not For You
    When I Paint My Masterpiece
    Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
    Positively 4th Street
    Hurricane
    Forever Young
    Standing in the Doorway
    Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
    Lay Lady Lay
    I Threw It All Away
    Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
    Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
    It Ain’t Me, Babe
    I Believe In You
    Drifter’s Escape
    When I Paint My Masterpiece
    Desolation Row
    Love Minus Zero
    Just Like a Woman
    My Back Pages
    Mr. Tambourine Man
    Tomorrow Is a Long Time
    Idiot Wind
    Simple Twist of Fate
    Jokerman
    Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
    You’re a Big Girl Now
    The Times They Are A-Changin’
    Obviously 5 Believers
    Dear Landlord
    Brownsville Girl
    Love Sick
    Only a Pawn in Their Game
    I’ll Keep It With Mine
    Oxford Town
    Ballad of a Thin Man
    Joey
    Chimes of Freedom
    Highway 61 Revisited
    Every Grain of Sand
    Not Dark Yet
    Cold Iron Bounds
    Shelter From the Storm
    It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
    Talkin’ World War III Blues
    Romance in Durango
    Jokerman
    Man in the Long Black Coat
    Meet Me In The Morning
    Blowin’ in the Wind

    Phew…

  26. Hi… I write here to ask you to come to Chile someday. I speak for thousands of Chileans that the only thing we want to do is see you here some day and be reassured that our idol we saw live and direct.

    Greetings from Chile.

    Pablo Vega.
    8)

  27. I love Bob Dylan and this is an interesting article but I wanted to get to Dave Gilmour’s website and I guess this is the best way!

    I heard that Roger wants to go back on tour by resurrecting The Wall. I was just hearing Comfortably Numb the other day along with Mother and ABITW Part 1 and I am dying to hear these played live again as I love The Wall.

    Dave, if there’s a lot of interest from your fans, what an amazing concert this would be, please do some soul searching and get the Floyd guys together, Live 8 looked a bit awkward when you guys got together at the end, we would love to see you back again in harmony! 🙂

    Here’s begging. :v

    Stuart

  28. FEd,

    This is REALLY weird, but…

    I feel obliged to advise you of what appears to some kind of subliminal tribute to Richard by Roger Waters (or am I just being Off the Wall).

    It may just be a co-incidence but his forthcoming Wall tour commences on the anniversary of Richard’s sad passing on 15th September.

    On Roger’s website ‘Tour’ page, in the top right-hand corner, there appears to be an ‘image’ of Rick looking across at the dates.

    Not only that, but there also appears to be another image below Richard, which resembles Syd, and beneath them both an Owl in flight (considered by some, to be symbolic of death).

    Take a look and see if you agree.

    I’ll get back to my medication now… 8|

  29. “How many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free?”

    “If you go when the snowflakes storm, when the rivers freeze & summer ends …”

    “You fasten the triggers for the others to fire, then you set back & watch while the death count gets higher …”

    “I’ve stumbled on the side of 12 misty mountains, I’ve walked & I’ve crawled on 6 crooked highways, I’ve stepped in the middle of 7 sad forests, I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans, I’ve been 10,000 miles in the mouth of a graveyard …”

    “As easy it was to tell black from white, it was all that easy to tell wrong from right. Our choices were few & the thought never hit, that the one road we traveled would ever shatter & split.”

    “I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.”

    “There’s a battle outside & it’s ragin’. It’ll soon shake your windows & rattle your walls for the times they are a-changin’.”

    “An’ the silent night will shatter from the sounds inside my mind.”

    “Today Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught. They lowered him down like a king. But the shadowy sun sets on the one that fired the gun.”

    “Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night & the diamonds from the deepest ocean, I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss, for that’s all I’m wishin’ to be ownin’ ”

    “William Zanzinger with a 6-month sentence! Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace & criticize all fears, bury the rag deep in your face for now’s the time for your tears.”

    “The time ain’t tall, yet on time you depend.”

    1. FEd, I don’t know what came over me today, but there it is!!

      I have loved Bob Dylan since 1962 when The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album came into my life. I know you and other Irregulars (including David) share a passion for his music, therefore I took some liberties and really tried ‘bringing it all back home’ with a little help from my book, Bob Dylan Lyrics 1962-2001! 😀

      Some people can’t get beyond his voice/style and, therefore, miss out on the brilliance of his lyrics. I often simply read his lyrics, much like reading a book of poems or a collection of short stories.

      Anyway, edit or delete as you wish. I had a very pleasant late afternoon transcribing a few (too many?) lines from some favorite songs, as well as giving the tendons in my fingers/hands some much-needed exercise.

      G’night. 🙂

    2. Oh, come now; as if I’d ever dream of editing or deleting the lyrics of The Great Bob. I could read them all day – and often do.

      “An’ the silent night will shatter from the sounds inside my mind.”

      How good is that?

  30. “I stood unwound beneath the skies, & clouds unbound by laws; the cryin’ rain like a trumpet sang & asked for no applause.”

    “I played my guitar thru the night to the day … & the only tune my guitar could play was “Oh the Cruel Rain & the Wind.”

    “Even tho a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flashed, an’ the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting. Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting.”

    “Your magnetic movements still capture the minutes I’m in, but it grieves my heart, love, to see you tryin’ to be a part of a world that just don’t exist.”

    “Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect deceived me into thinking I had something to protect.”

    “Beneath a bare lightbulb the plaster did pound; her sister & I in a screaming battleground; & she in between, the victim of sound, soon shattered as a child ‘neath her shadows.”

    “The man in the coon-skin cap in the big pen wants eleven dollar bills–you only got ten.”

    “She wears an Egyptian ring that sparkles before she speaks; she’s a hypnotist collector, you are a walking antique.”

    “Statues made of matchsticks crumble into one another; my love winks, she does not bother; she knows too much to argue or to judge.”

    “The motorcycle black Madonna, two-wheeled gypsy queen & her silver-studded phantom cause the gray flannel dwarf to scream as he weeps to wicked birds of prey who pick up on his bread-crumb sins.”

    1. “Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect deceived me into thinking I had something to protect.”

      ‘My Back Pages’ could go on for several hours and I’d still feel that it ended too soon.

  31. “Disillusioned words like bullets bark; as human gods aim for their mark; make everything from toy guns that spark to flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark; it’s easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred.”

    “Leave your stepping stones behind, there’s something that calls for you. Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you. The vagabond who’s rapping at your door is standing in the clothes that you once wore.”

    “Farewell Angelina, the bells of the crown are being stolen by bandits, I must follow the sound.”

    “I said goodbye unnoticed, pushed towards things in my own games, drifting in & out of lifetimes, unmentionable by name. Searching for my double, looking for complete evaporation to the core tho I tried & failed at finding any door.”

    “You said you’d never compromise with the mystery tramp, but now you realize he’s not selling any alibis as you stare into the vacuum of his eyes & ask him ‘do you want to make a deal?’ ”

    “You walk into the room like a camel & then you frown. You put your eyes in your pocket & your nose on the ground. There ought to be a law against you comin’ around.”

    “Sweet Melinda, the peasants call her the goddess of gloom.”

    “Ezra Pound & TS Eliot fighting in the captain’s tower while calypso singers laugh at them & fishermen hold flowers between the windows of the sea where lovely mermaids flow.”

    “The harmonicas play the skeleton keys & the rain & these visions of Johanna are now all that remain.”

  32. “The cracked bells & washed-out horns blow into my face with scorn, but it’s not that way, I wasn’t born to lose you.”

    “Mona tried to tell me to stay away from the train line. She said that all the railroad men just drink up your blood like wine.”

    “Well, I got the fever down in my pockets, the Persian drunkard, he follows me. Yes, I can take him to your house but I can’t unlock it, you see, you forgot to leave me with the key.”

    “Now you stand with your thief, you’re on his parole with your holy medallion which your fingertips fold, & your saintlike face & your ghostlike soul. Oh, who among them do you think could destroy you?”

    “While the mission bells did toll, he just stood there staring at that big house as bright as any sun, with 4 & 20 windows & a woman’s face in ev’ry one.”

    “Walkin’ to & fro beneath the moon, out to where the trucks are rollin’ slow, to sit down on this bank of sand & watch the river flow.”

    “Train wheels runnin’ thru the back of my memory when I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese. Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody when I paint my masterpiece.”

    “I’m going down to Rose Marie’s, she never does me wrong. She puts it to me plain as day & gives it to me for a song.”

    “Standing next to me in this lonely crowd is a man who swears he’s not to blame. All day long I hear him shout so loud, crying out that he was framed.”

    “That long black cloud is comin’ down. I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.”

  33. “She lit a burner on the stove & offered me a pipe. ‘I thought you’d never say hello,’ she said. ‘You look like the silent type.’ Then she opened up a book of poems & handed it to me, written by an Italian poet from the 13th century. And every one of them words rang true & glowed like burnin’ coal, pourin’ off of every page like it was written in my soul from me to you, tangled up in blue.”

    “A saxophone someplace far off played, as she was walkin’ by the arcade. As the light bust thru a beat-up shade where he was wakin’ up, she dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate & forgot about a simple twist of fate.”

    “You’ll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above & I’ll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love.”

    “Lily’s arms were locked around the man that she dearly loved to touch. She forgot all about the man she couldn’t stand who hounded her so much. ‘I’ve missed you so,’ she said to him, & he felt she was sincere, but just beyond the door he felt jealousy & fear.”

    “If you get close to her kiss her once for me. I always have respected her for doin’ what she did & gettin’ free. Whatever makes her happy, I won’t stand in the way. The bitter taste still lingers on from the night I tried to make her stay.”

    “Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line. Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine.”

    “Buckets of moonbeams in my hand, I got all the love, honey baby, you can stand.”

  34. “Now all the criminals in their coats & their ties are all free to drink martinis & watch the sun rise, while Rubin sits like Buddha in a 10-foot cell, an innocent man in a living hell.”

    “I stumbled to my feet, I rode past destruction in the ditches, with the stitches still mending ‘neath a heart-shaped tattoo. Renegade priests & treacherous young witches were handing out the flowers that I’d given to you.”

    “Well, the last thing I remember before I stripped & kneeled, was that trainload of fools bogged down in a magnetic field. A gypsy with a broken flag & a flashing ring said, ‘Son, this ain’t a dream no more, it’s the real thing.’ ”

    “I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night, in the violence of a summer’s dream, in the chill of a wintry light, in the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space, in the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face.”

    “Look out across the fields, see me returning. Smoke is in your eye, you draw a smile from the fireplace where my letters to you are burning. You’ve had time to think about it for a while.”

    “Most of the time my head is on straight. Most of the time I’m strong enough not to hate. I don’t build up illusion ’til it makes me sick. I ain’t afraid of confusion no matter how thick. I can smile in the face of mankind. Don’t even remember what her lips felt like on mine, most of the time.”

    “Seen a shooting star tonight & I thought of you. You were trying to break into another world, a world I never knew.”

  35. “Drinkin’ man listens to the voice he hears in a crowded room full of covered-up mirrors, lookin’ into the lost forgotten years for dignity.”

    “I see, I see lovers in the meadow. I see, I see silhouettes in the window. I watch them ’til they’re gone & they leave me hanging on to a shadow. I’m sick of love; I wish I’d never met you. I’m sick of love; I’m trying to forget you. Just don’t know what to do. I’d give anything to be with you.”

    “I was born & I’ll die here against my will. I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still. Every nerve in my body is so vacant & numb. I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from. Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.”

    “I’m beginning to hear voices & there’s no one around. Well, I’m all used up & the fields have turned brown. I’m waist deep, waist deep in the mist. It’s almost like, almost like I don’t exist. I’m 20 miles out of town in cold irons bound.”

    “When the evening shadows & the stars appear & there is no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years to make you feel my love.”

    “Well my heart’s in the Highlands gentle & fair. Honeysuckle blooming in the wildwood air.”

    “Lot of water under the bridge, lot of other stuff too. Don’t get up gentlemen, I’m only passing through. People are crazy & times are strange. I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range. I used to care, but things have changed.”

    Damn, that was cathartic! 😛

    Peace 🙂
    Gabrielle

  36. The first songs I learned to play were from the Dylan songbooks. My brother and I learned to play and sing every song we could find and having been gifted(?) with Dylanesque voices, we were popular with our country/folk friends for years and years. That was in the ’70s and now, I can still play the very first song I ever learned to sing, so my favorite stanza has to be –

    “Only if my own true love was waiting
    If I could hear her heart a softly poundin’
    If only she were lying by me
    Then I could lie, in my bed, once again”

    Won my first real girlfriend with that one.

    For my suggestion for David to cover – anything from Blood On The Tracks. The violin pieces would translate nicely to guitar on some, One More Cup Of Coffee for sure.

    Now to check out all those links, thanks for those by the way, glad I checked in.

  37. I’m glad to see Not Dark Yet well represented in the lists above. That by far would be the song I’d most like to see covered. I’m horrified to see Most of the Time only get one mention!

    Anyone suffering with unrequited love needs to discover (or re-discover) this gem.

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