Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Play a Song for Me

As I count down the hours till No Direction Home, here are some of my favourite Dylan songs.

Best early work: It Ain't Me, Babe

'You say you're lookin' for someone never weak but always strong
To protect you and defend you whether you are right or wrong'

More than Blowin' In The Wind, more than Like A Rolling Stone, more even than The Times They Are A-Changin', this is the one I played on cybersofa's guitar ad nauseam when I was a student. And not just because the chords are easy.

Best late work: Love Sick

'I'm walking through streets that are dead
I'm walking, walking with you in my head'

'Time Out Of Mind' came out in 1997, more than thirty years after Dylan's first album, and blew me away right from this opening track. The man still has it.

Most miserable: Dirge

'I hate myself for loving you, and the weakness that it showed
You were just a painted face on a trip down Suicide Road'

Plenty of hot contenders for this title, but Dirge, from 'Planet Waves', was a clear winner - partly for the dreary lyrics, partly for the dreary tune. Well, with a title like that, it would be.

Happiest: Forever Young

'May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young'

A slightly smaller pool of candidates for this one.

Best lyric: Like A Rolling Stone

'You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat'

Yes, yes, of all the possible picks, I like the line with a cat in it.

Best misheard lyric: Dirge again; until I actually read the lyrics, I thought the line above referred to 'Seaside Road'.

Most 'WTF?' lyric: Desolation Row

'And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, fighting in the captain's tower
While calypso singers laugh at them and fishermen hold flowers'

No, really, what was he on?

Best cover version: Don't Think Twice, It's All Right, as covered by Joan Baez

'I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time'

There are lots of great Dylan covers, many of which are more widely played than the originals - The Byrds' Mr Tambourine Man and Manfred Mann's The Mighty Quinn spring instantly to mind - but I'm plumping for this one because until I heard it I didn't think much of the song.

Song that makes me cry: Bob Dylan's Dream

'We thought we could sit forever in fun
But our chances really was a million to one'

A song about losing touch with your friends. It's ten years this month since I started university. I think I'm allowed to be sentimental about it now.

OK, your turn.


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