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Review: Last Thing & Don't Think Twice?

Jason Xion Wang 18 Mar 14 - 12:49 AM
Joe Offer 18 Mar 14 - 01:30 AM
GUEST 18 Mar 14 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 18 Mar 14 - 12:28 PM
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Subject: Review: Last Thing & Don't Think Twice?
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 12:49 AM

Tom Paxton's "Last Thing on My Mind" and Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" are always my all-time favorite songs by these two of the greatest songwriters ever lived.

I first came across Tom's song, and later when I heard Bob's, a strong feeling struck me that these two songs are somehow related. They show opposite feelings - one is determined to leave, the other begged "Please don't go". The two songs also shared related lines which seems to be a reply to the other. For example:

"I could have loved you better, didn't mean to be unkind" - "I ain't saying you treated me unkind, you could have done better but I don't mind"

"As we walk, all my thoughts are a-tumbling" - "Don't think twice, it's alright"

"Are you going away with no word of farewell?" - "Goodbye's too good a word, so I'll just say, fare thee well"

In addition, If I'm not mistaken, these two songs were both written in 1962, when Bob and Tom shared an apartment together at Gaslight Cafe on MacDougal Street. As Tom recalls in a TV Special, Bob wrote "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" in his room that year.

So, any idea if these two songs are really related? Or is it merely a coincidence?

Jason from China


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Subject: RE: Review: Last Thing & Don't Think Twice?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 01:30 AM

Interesting question, Jason. Here's an excerpt from a related item from allmusic.com:
    The Last Thing on My Mind" dwarfed that success, however. A song of regret over the loss of a relationship possessing some of the emotional distancing of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" (though none of that song's bellicosity) and the later hit "Always on My Mind," it finds a lover telling his departing companion that "I could have loved you better, didn't mean to be unkind/You know that was the last thing on my mind." It quickly became a standard. In 1965 alone, covers appeared on chart albums by the Mitchell Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary (another Milt Okun act), and Marianne Faithfull. After that, "The Last Thing on My Mind" spread to country artists, earning recordings by Charley Pride and Hank Locklin in 1967 before the duo of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton released it as a single that peaked at number seven in the country charts in early 1968. Rock acts such as the Move and the Vejtables tried their hands before Neil Diamond put it on his 1971 MCA album Stones, and after Diamond left MCA in 1973, the label belated released it as a single that peaked at number 56 on the pop chart. The list of other artists who have recorded "The Last Thing on My Mind" includes Bill Anderson, Chet Atkins, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Glen Campbell, Judy Collins, Sandy Denny, José Feliciano, Flatt & Scruggs, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, the Seekers, and Hank Snow.

So, that's a start.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Review: Last Thing & Don't Think Twice?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 05:17 AM

I think Paul Clayton's song came first and Dylan copied it.


It ain't no use to sit and sigh now, darlin,
And it ain't no use to sit and cry now,
T'ain't no use to sit and wonder why, darlin,
Just wonder who's gonna buy you ribbons when I'm gone.
So times on the railroad gettin' hard, babe,
I woke up last night and saw it snow,
Remember what you said to me last summer
When you saw me walkin' down that road.

So I'm walkin' down that long, lonesome road,
You're the one that made me travel on,
But still I can't help wonderin' on my way,
Who's gonna buy you ribbons when I'm gone?


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Subject: RE: Review: Last Thing & Don't Think Twice?
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 12:28 PM

I have a memory of reading an article about Tom Paxton many years ago in which he was quoted as saying that when he heard Dylan sing Don't Think Twice he thought it was an unbearably cruel song and Last Thing On My Mind was his reply to it, what the woman "who just wasted my precious time" might have said.
That is what I remember but my memory may be playing false and I would be delighted if someone could confirm it or correct it.


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