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Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs

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TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING
YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE


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Dave the Gnome 03 May 20 - 03:12 AM
DaveRo 03 May 20 - 04:01 AM
The Sandman 03 May 20 - 04:48 AM
gillymor 03 May 20 - 05:23 AM
Jim Carroll 03 May 20 - 05:50 AM
gillymor 03 May 20 - 06:35 AM
Dave Sutherland 03 May 20 - 06:49 AM
Dave Sutherland 03 May 20 - 07:10 AM
Jim McLean 03 May 20 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Jerry 03 May 20 - 08:06 AM
Jim McLean 03 May 20 - 08:11 AM
Bill D 03 May 20 - 12:15 PM
Tunesmith 03 May 20 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Starship 03 May 20 - 12:23 PM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 02:19 AM
Jim Carroll 04 May 20 - 03:07 AM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 04:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 04:40 AM
Jim Carroll 04 May 20 - 04:56 AM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,Gerry 04 May 20 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,Jerry 04 May 20 - 05:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 06:00 AM
Jim Carroll 04 May 20 - 06:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 06:34 AM
Steve Shaw 04 May 20 - 06:48 AM
Steve Shaw 04 May 20 - 06:51 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 06:57 AM
clueless don 04 May 20 - 07:21 AM
Jim Carroll 04 May 20 - 07:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 07:39 AM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 07:40 AM
gillymor 04 May 20 - 07:42 AM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 07:44 AM
gillymor 04 May 20 - 07:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 07:55 AM
Steve Shaw 04 May 20 - 08:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Roger 04 May 20 - 09:40 AM
Jim Carroll 04 May 20 - 10:13 AM
Dave Sutherland 04 May 20 - 10:40 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Jerry 04 May 20 - 12:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 12:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 01:17 PM
Jim Carroll 04 May 20 - 01:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 01:33 PM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 01:37 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Jo-Jo 04 May 20 - 02:59 PM
oldhippie 04 May 20 - 03:27 PM
JHW 04 May 20 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Jo-Jo 04 May 20 - 03:47 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 May 20 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,Jerry 04 May 20 - 05:31 PM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 05:48 PM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 05:52 PM
The Sandman 04 May 20 - 05:57 PM
gillymor 04 May 20 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,Jerry 04 May 20 - 06:49 PM
RTim 04 May 20 - 07:37 PM
The Sandman 05 May 20 - 01:59 AM
Allan Conn 05 May 20 - 02:58 AM
GUEST,Jerry 05 May 20 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,fasteddy 05 May 20 - 03:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 May 20 - 05:17 AM
gillymor 05 May 20 - 09:52 AM
The Sandman 05 May 20 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Jerry 06 May 20 - 04:23 AM
The Sandman 06 May 20 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Jerry 06 May 20 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,henryp 08 May 20 - 03:13 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 08 May 20 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,Jerry 08 May 20 - 05:48 PM
gillymor 08 May 20 - 05:57 PM
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Dunkle 04 Oct 20 - 10:15 AM
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Subject: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 May 20 - 03:12 AM

According to Alexis Petridis in The Guardian

I must own up to not knowing a fair few.

In the authors own words

Let it be known that ranking Bob Dylan’s 50 best songs is not a relaxing diversion to pass one’s lockdown time. It’s a supremely frustrating exercise that can only end with you looking agog at the songs you have left out

Enjoy :-)


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: DaveRo
Date: 03 May 20 - 04:01 AM

I hadn't heard of a lot of them. But Petridis is 20 years younger than me.

Direct link to the Guardian:

Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs – ranked!

This is one of a series - 'Ranked' - e.g. 'David Bowie's 50 greatest'. Click on the brown 'Ranked' button.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 May 20 - 04:48 AM

50? sorry imo he has only written about 5 good ones


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: gillymor
Date: 03 May 20 - 05:23 AM

No "It Takes a lot too Laugh,It takes a Train to Cry", "Tonight I'll be Staying Here with You","Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again", some glaring omissions or maybe I just like long song titles.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 May 20 - 05:50 AM

No1 Masters of War
No 50 Masters of War
Can't think of anything in between
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: gillymor
Date: 03 May 20 - 06:35 AM

Some more that I would wedge into any top 50 list-

You Ain't Going Nowhere
Tombstone Blues
Farewell Angelina
You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome
When the Ship Comes in
To Ramona
Buckets of Rain
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Million Dollar Bash
Seven Curses


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 03 May 20 - 06:49 AM

This was published about three weeks ago in the Guardian and at my last time of reading there had been in excess of 1,600 posts to the article, all offering additions to the top fifty at which he had arrived. A general consensus was that even a top 100 would still induce posters demanding why a particular song had not been included.
Personally I was perplexed as to why "Lilly, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" didn't find a place; although in Petridis' defence he did state that any track from "Blood on the Tracks" could be included in the top 50.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 03 May 20 - 07:10 AM

May I also add that apart from the 0.5% of usual trite contributions (“He can’t write”, “He can’t sing”, “Can’t stand him” – yeah thanks for letting us know) I was totally overwhelmed by the wonderful good nature of the replies, even where they disagreed with original choices, and the supportive attitude of the majority of the posters.
An absolute pleasure to be involved.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim McLean
Date: 03 May 20 - 07:39 AM

The trouble I have with Masters of War is that it puts the blame for war on everybody but oneself.
The true master of war is the person who picks up the gun or drives a tank.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 03 May 20 - 08:06 AM

In Masters of War, surely he was pointing the finger at the leaders only, rather than the foot soldiers following orders, which the Universal Soldier targeted more directly. I’ve never liked Masters anyway, other than an interesting use of Nottaman Town tune, because the lyrics are a bit weak for him. Who Killed Davey Moore is much better, because it cleverly demonstrates that we all have a part to play in such tragedies.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim McLean
Date: 03 May 20 - 08:11 AM

Come you Masters of Booze,
You who build the big stills
You force us to drink
And make us all ill.
You put a glass in my hand
Make sure I won't run
And you'll never rest
Till I down it in one.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Bill D
Date: 03 May 20 - 12:15 PM

"Masters of War"
"It's All Right, Ma"
and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"

most of the rest don't move me.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Tunesmith
Date: 03 May 20 - 12:20 PM

I guess to had to be there. But "Blowin' in the Wind" is the Dylan song that had the greatest impact on society AND, in some sort of greatest list ( but I thought it was 100) "Blowin' in the Wind " came in at 44! Ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 03 May 20 - 12:23 PM

Every Grain of Sand is a remarkable piece of writing. I didn't check the list to see if it's there, but if it isn't it should be in the top 20 of his songs.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 02:19 AM

all a matter of opinion


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 May 20 - 03:07 AM

"May I also add that apart from the 0.5% of usual trite contributions "
Normally, I wouldn't comment on the tastes of others, but, as an admirer of MacColl, I have become more than a little tired of someone I knew and worked with, known and admired for twenty years while he was living and , now thirty years after his death, still being dug up for a regular kicking - in my experience, Dylanites are among the worst (something to do with Ewan's refusing to take Bobby's phone call one time)
Among the most regugalr attacks
One of the most regular and superfical attacks on MacColl remain his changing his name - that this is made by Robret zimmermann fans puts it in contest, I think
I tried to like Dylan - I really did - because many of my mates did - I failed miserably
I found his lyrics trite and suprficial and his voice flat and somewhat boring
His using of people as described in Baez's book suggested a somewhat ruthless ladder-climber - his singing songs Civil Rights while refusing to become involved in those important protests at the time, suggested the same

I stopped trying to understand Dylan when he announced his career change from folk to pop - not my bag - yet despite his doing so he is still held up as a folk icon
Nowadays, I try to avoid discussion of him, but, as far as I am concerned, no public performer is above criticism or comment - if their fans feel they are above and beyond criticism or comment they should confine their activities to their bath and choose only their rubber dick as audience
My remarks about how I feel about Dylan where not 'trite' they were how I feel - one and one only song sticks with me after all these years

One of these days I'll dig out the scathing 1960s 2-part analysis on 'Bobby' by the mysterious 'Jack Speeedwell', in Karl Dallas's 'Folk Music' (7. Speedwell Confessions "I Discover Bobbie Dylan's Secret")
If my bland remarks upset his fans, they should cause a major riot :-)
Sorry to interrupt
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 04:20 AM

well said, Jim.
here is an example of a trite dylan song. ballad in plain d.Ballad in Plain D
Bob Dylan
I once loved a girl, her skin it was bronze
With the innocence of a lamb, she was gentle like a fawn
I courted her proudly but now she is gone
Gone as the season she's taken
In a young summer's youth, I stole her away
From her mother and sister, though close did they stay
Each one of them suffering from the failures of their day
With strings of guilt they tried hard to guide us
Of the two sisters, I loved the young
With sensitive instincts, she was the creative one
The constant scrapegoat, she was easily undone
By the jealousy of others around her
For her parasite sister, I had no respect
Bound by her boredom, her pride to protect
Countless visions of the other she'd reflect
As a crutch for her scenes and her society
Myself, for what I did, I cannot be excused
The changes I was going through can't even be used
For the lies that I told her in hopes not to lose
The could-be dream-lover of my lifetime
With unseen consciousness, I possessed in my grip
A magnificent mantelpiece, though its heart being chipped
Noticing not that I'd already slipped
To the sin of love's false security
From silhouetted anger to manufactured peace
Answers of emptiness, voice vacancies
'Till the tombstones of damage read me no questions but, "Please
What's wrong and what's exactly the matter?"
And so it did happen like it could have been foreseen
The timeless explosion of fantasy's dream
At the peak of the night, the king and the queen
Tumbled all down into pieces
"The tragic figure!" her sister did shout
"Leave her alone, god damn you, get out!"
And I in my armor, turning about
And nailing her in the ruins of her pettiness
Beneath a bare light bulb the plaster did pound
Her sister and I in a screaming battleground
And she in between, the victim of sound
Soon shattered as a child to the shadows
All is gone, all is gone, admit it, take flight
I gagged in contradiction, tears blinding my sight
My mind it was mangled, I ran into the night
Leaving all of love's ashes behind me
The wind knocks my window, the room it is wet
The words to say I'm sorry, I haven't found yet
I think of her often and hope whoever she's met
Will be fully aware of how precious she is
Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me
"How good, how good does it feel to be free?"
And I answer them most mysteriously
"Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?"
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Dylan
Wass this his mcgonagle phase?


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 04:40 AM

When "0.5% trite contributions" was mentioned it was in relation to comments in the Guardian. Not anyone here, unless they were one of the 0.5%. If you don't like Dylan, fine. Lots of people don't. If you don't like Dylan and go on to read articles and threads about him, I don't know what that says about you.

Anyway, back to the subject matter. Bearing in mind I don't know a lot of these songs, I am going to create a Spotify play list of them and work my way through. Of the ones not mentioned on the list but previously mentioned here, I think "For Ramona" is my favourite. If only for the sentiment

I've heard you say many times
That you're better 'n no one
And no one is better 'n you
If you really believe that
You know you have
Nothing to win and nothing to lose


A good philosophy in my opinion :-)


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 May 20 - 04:56 AM

There have been enough examples of Dylan-luvvies exploding when the name of their lord was taken in vain Dave, incliing a moderator going ballistic and telling those not so keen to "get a life" - I thought I'd use the opportunity to set the record straight
Dave's S's "thanks for letting us know" was a pretty widely-aimed comment
I don't wish to prolong this - I suggest, unless they wish to discuss it in more specific
terms, nobody else does
Jim


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 05:21 AM

I've heard you say many times
That you're better 'n no one
And no one is better 'n you
If you really believe that
You know you have
Nothing to win and nothing to lose
typical dylan
however Confucius, a far superior philosopher in my opinion had this to say, which was not meaningless mumbo jumbo
On Ego

Confucius said: "I am not bothered by the fact that I am unknown. I am bothered when I do not know others."


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 04 May 20 - 05:26 AM

"Normally, I wouldn't comment on the tastes of others, but, as an admirer of MacColl, I have become more than a little tired of someone I knew and worked with, known and admired for twenty years while he was living and, now thirty years after his death, still being dug up for a regular kicking - in my experience, Dylanites are among the worst (something to do with Ewan's refusing to take Bobby's phone call one time)"

Jim, if in fact Dylanites are among the worst MacColl kickers, there may be more to it than any one-time refusal to take a phone call. Here's some of what MacColl had to say about Dylan, in 1965. After denigrating "the present crop of contemporary American song[writers]", he writes:

"" 'But what of Bobby Dylan?' scream the outraged teenagers of all ages. Well I have watched with fascination the meteoric rise of the American idol and I am still unable to see in him anything other than a youth of mediocre talent. Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel. 'But the poetry?' What poetry? The cultivated illiteracy of his topical songs or the embarrassing fourth grade schoolboy attempts at free verse? The latter reminds me of elderly female schoolteachers clad in Greek tunics rolling hoops across lawns at weekend theatre schools."

This appeared in Sing Out in 1965, reprinted in DeTurk & Poulin, eds., The American Folk Scene. It's no excuse for kicking a man thrity years dead, but it suggests that the Dylanites' alleged kicking may have more than a missed phone call behind it.

[Ordinarily, it would be beneath me to draw attention to typographical errors, but I couldn't let this one go by: "Nowadays, I try to avoid discussion of him, but, as far as I am concerned, no public performer is above criticism or comment - if their fans feel they are above and beyond criticism or comment they should confine their activities to their bath and choose only their rubber dick as audience."]


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 04 May 20 - 05:28 AM

I’ve followed the career and output of many recording artistes over the last few decades, and am aware that most have churned out some second rate and probably unfinished/ unrefined pap in amongst some really good stuff. However, we often have to tolerate the mediocre songs just to find the gems in among. Dylan has certainly churned put some poor stuff in his long career, but I have difficulty thinking of anyone else (apart from Trad Arr of course) with such a high ratio of good songs compared to forgettable ones; whether you can tolerate his sloppy singing and performance style or not, there are not many singer songwriters out there you could even have a top fifty list of songs to argue about anyway.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 06:00 AM

I think with his prodgious output there is inevitabley some good and some bad. I am not a critic and don't like to pee on anyones parade so "not my cup of tea" is generally the limit of my comment if I dislike something. I am not against criticism or discussion of peoples works but derogatory phrases aimed at someone's icon can only cause friction. If friction is the aim, then fine but if a meaningful discussion is required we need more comments like "I like this better because..." Dick had the right approach in his post Date: 04 May 20 - 05:21 AM Apart from the throwaway "meaningless mumbo-jumbo" which, while showing his dislike, does not really add anything to the discussion.

In my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 May 20 - 06:01 AM

A mtter of tasrte Jerry
Somw would hold up the Beatles as having achieved afr more (I wouldn't) - others 'The Stones.
The popular repertoire if full of "standards" by Gershwin and Cole Porter, still highly respected across the musical boards and still very sellable - even to me - a trad obsessive
My songs have lasted many centuries without 'arrangement' (adapting via the folk process is hardly that
This has taken place without having the backing od a a £multi-billion music industry to give it the hiss of life or stick it in cryogenics machine when it appears to be flagging
Dylan will only be around while he 'sells' - when that stops and when our generation pops its clogs he will be forgotten

MacColl's attitude to Dylan was simple - I knew him to be completely neutral about his musical abilities because I took the trouble to ask rather than assume
When Lomax came to England he found everybody trying to sound like mid-Atlantic Huddies or Woodies - including Ewan and Bert
He kicked their arses and poionted out that we in Britain had our own treasure troves and demanded to know why they weren't doing something about it
Some people did and it worked - people begabnn siging stuff from their own tradition rathere than doind what Brit's always had and follow the Yanks where their music industry led
Then Dylan exploded on the scene and many took a giant step back wards
Ewan, Bert - even the docile Pete Seeger with his little axe, reacted against this blast from the past strongly, bot because they didn't like what he did, ut they saw him as a threat to everything they fought so hard for      
Theer was no compromise on any side - snigger songwriters were no more welcome in Trad clubs that traddie like me were in their clubs
As far as I can see, that mutual mistrust was fully justifeid by the now totally fragmented folk scene that has little time for the music it was set up to produce

Had the incomers had enough respect for 'the music of the people' to find a new name for a new form of music, we might have coexisted - instead a trickler turned into a hostile takeover with the main loser being 'The People's Voice' which has now been successfully silenced by the evictors
That's what MacColl meant when he said to me in an interview, "I used to thin folk would never die as a performed art, now I think it might, if it falls into the hands of people who neither like nor respect it
The Dylanites feature large among those - hence Ewan's and to some degree my antipathy
INTERESTING VIEW HERE
Jim


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 06:34 AM

Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel.

If MacColl did indeed say that, and I have no reason to disbelieve the quote from Sing Out!, It is hardly being neutral. It may be of course that he was, as I mentioned earlier, trying to generate friction. If so, I don't know the motivation and it may have been a perfectly valid thing to do at the time.

But this thread is not Ewan MacColl's 50 greatest songs. It is Bob Dylan's. So how about we stick to that?


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 May 20 - 06:48 AM

When it comes to penning sophisticated song lyrics, there's obscurantism, there's clever-dickery and there's poetry...


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 May 20 - 06:51 AM

And Jim, an audience in the bath with your "rubber dick," eh? I genuinely can't decide whether that was a typo or whether you did it on purpose...


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 06:57 AM

It's funny, Steve. I never really 'got' poetry until I heard Kipling's work set to music by Peter Bellamy. I then realised I had been listening to bits of poetry all my life without knowing it! I still don't know the difference between good poetry and bad but, yes, you've guessed it, I know what I like :-)

Just popped a couple of my favourite lines on the old number 10 thread. I like things that conjour an image.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: clueless don
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:21 AM

I'm aware of the distinction between "great" and "my favorite". That having been acknowledged, I was sorry to see my favorite missing - Bob Dylan's 115th Dream.

Don


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:29 AM

"that was a typo "
Freudian slip probably Steve - mus frame it
"I have no reason to disbelieve the quote from Sing Out!,"
Why - did you know the writer Dave
Thar have been enough misquotes of MacColl to my personal knowledge to fill a library
I'm just discussing a classic with a friend by e-mail at present "How folk songs should be sung"
It seems some people will believe what suits them nowadays
Pleae don't pull the "off topic" stunt - the two are joined at thi hip as far as the history of the revival is concerned "You can't habve one without the other" - like love and marriage
Jim


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:39 AM

Bob and Ewan joined at the hip? Now, there's an image to conjour with! I don't think so, Jim. There may be some crossover but MacColl has no bearing whatsoever on Dylan's greatest songs. But please feel free to plough your own furrow on this.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:40 AM

in my opinion kipling was not a very good poet like c fox smith his poems imo work better as songs because they are written to a rythym. bob dylan songs that i think are amongst his better ones are masters of war,times they are changing, he specialise in not making his meaning clear in a good proprtion of his songs , one example, farewell angelina what the feck is that about, apart from a load of hippie cool cliches. blowing in the wind is better but still he deliberately writes meaningless lines example line one and two
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?another example
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand
and this meaningless cliche
Yes, 'n' how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
Yes, 'n' how many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
Yes, 'n' how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
Yes, 'n' how many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
Yes, 'n' how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
a song full of vaguely progressive cliches, from an era when hippes sat around stoned saying how cool dylan was and nodding sagely and opting out of society,
it was just the sort of song that suits the establishment


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: gillymor
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:42 AM

Most Likely You Go Your Way is an add for me.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:44 AM

at least mick jagger[another phoney] admits he is a conservative


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: gillymor
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:45 AM

...but I prefer versions by Earl Scruggs Revue and Old Crow Med. Show of this fun rave up.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:55 AM

I like Cicely Fox-Smith too, Dick, and occasionally sing "From the North".

I know what you mean about some of Dylan's lyrics.

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


Sorry, but if I can't make sense of it after all these years, it's wasted on me!

There is a lot of his stuff that I like, just as I like some poems by Kipling, but it is a matter of personal taste for me. I don't really go in for critical analysis of styles and structure. I either like it or it's not my cup of tea. Maybe I'm shallow but life's to short to force myself to listen to something I don't like :-(


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 May 20 - 08:02 AM

That's it, Dick. The song is a crossover between obscurantism and cleverdickery in m'humble...

I don't care too much for poetry in general (especially when it's read by poets in their obligatory mournful monotone - leave it on the bloody page!). We were Wordsworthed to death at school, and the relentless introspection in his big jobs just did me brain in, which I'm sure colours my present attitude. To me (unsupportable opinion coming up...), a good poem, or a line in a poem, that sparks something off in my brain, gives me a "why didn't I think of it that way" moment, articulates a delicious thought I could never have come up with myself, hits the nail on the head, poignantly strikes a sudden emotional blow, or simply provides a lovely and lyrical juxtaposing of words, is what I call poetry. I don't want to hear strain or dogged, relentless forcing. And call me flippant and superficial, but, to me, John Betjeman and Pam Ayres have it in spades...

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn...


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 08:07 AM

And the great McGonanagall of course :-F


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 04 May 20 - 09:40 AM

On yonder hill there stands a coo,
It must have gone for its no there noo.

Must be a hidden meaning in there somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 May 20 - 10:13 AM

"MacColl has no bearing whatsoever on Dylan's greatest songs."
Once these things are up they can be taken wherever anybody wants within reason - it's not "my" anything it'ss called democracy
MacColl collected a version of Scarborough Fair, Carthy got it from him, Dylan got it from Carthy and Simon and Garfunkle copyrighted it
Scarborough Fair is considered by many as "one of Dylan's greatest songs"
That connection can be made with other "Dylan's greatest songs"
Please don't interfere with what I post
Jim


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 04 May 20 - 10:40 AM

Sorry to arrive late here but it has been a busy morning in lockdown but…………..how in Hell does a discussion on Bob Dylan’s top 50 songs as published in The Guardian suddenly turn into a defence against those intent on attacking Ewan MacColl? I have never given MacColl a kicking either alive or otherwise in the fifty odd years that I have been aware of his work. On the contrary I have the highest regard for the man; if I hadn’t why would I have booked him at our club on three occasions, travelled to other venues where he was performing to hear him, possess a vast amount of his recordings as well as his own writings and writings about him?
If Dylan fans attack MacColl it would have more to do, in my opinion, with the interview previously quoted from Sing Out which is almost verbatim to the one he gave Karl Dallas in Melody Maker around the same time (late summer 1965) where he slaughtered Dylan as a songwriter, a poet and a political commentator. He still found room to have a go at Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs stating that they “weren’t saying anything that LBJ could disagree with” – naturally it provoked a record mailbag to the paper. Even some four years later on the ITV programme “Abroad with Behan” he was just starting to dismiss Dylan as the programmes’ credits rolled. However having followed Dylan for some 56 years and having heard countless tales about him, some plausible, some apocryphal I have to say that this one about a telephone call is a new one on me; still every day is a school day!
As Dave pointed out earlier (thank you) my comments were totally in connection with the actual article in The Guardian where there were 1,626 posts to the list published which, while some disagreed ferociously with the choices, it was all carried out in a most good natured, supportive and amicable atmosphere that it was a pleasure to be involved.
Very similar to the atmosphere following Dylan’s (along with Neil Young’s) Hyde Park appearance last July when it was possible to discuss with complete strangers the concert just completed along with previous concerts and his work in general in the same non-confrontational ambiance – which was the point I was trying to make some 24 hours ago.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 11:16 AM

Thanks Dave (S). Glad I got your sentiment right :-)

Jim. No one is interfering with what you post. I refer you to my post of 04 May 20 - 07:39 AM, from which you quote but do not complete. The line you omited was But please feel free to plough your own furrow on this. I welcome diversion but bear in mind that a diversion is all it is.

Carry on discussing MacColl or whoever else you want to bring in to it but, personally, I think he deserves a thread of his own and I shall stick to Dylan on this one.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 04 May 20 - 12:11 PM

How much must a boy experience before he can be treated like an adult?
How far around the world do birds fly before they take a well earned rest?
How much loss of life must we endure before we agree that warfare is bad?
The answer is unknown, and we can only guess.

Give me ‘vague progressive cliches’ any time, rather than overly transparent platitudes.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 12:44 PM

The ants are my friends...


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 01:17 PM

I've input them on a playlist. I'll start on them tonight while reading in bed. Will Bob Dylan to with Ben Aaronovitch?


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 May 20 - 01:26 PM

"But please feel free to plough your own furrow on this."
And I pointed out that it was not "my" anything
I reall don't need anyone's permission to post what I want but I could do without being told it was off topic which it isnt
Nor do I ned to be told what thread to post to - you can't compartmentalise discussion to suit yourself
Let's end this here and not spoil the discussion eh ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 01:33 PM

Fine, Jim. I thought I had already ended it but, if you feel the need for the last word, please go ahead. I thought it was already over now, Baby Blue but maybe the times they are a changin.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 01:37 PM

yes guest jerry,but i would not describe that as one of his vague progressive cliches however i did provide some examples, your example is a red herring, becquse i never said it was progressive cliches in its entirety
these were the examples
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?another example
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand
and this meaningless cliche
Yes, 'n' how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
that is why i do not think he is agreat songwriter ,not because all his ongs are rubbish but because some of his songs have major flaws


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 01:40 PM

As I said earlier, Dick, given the number of songs he has written there is bound to be some dross.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jo-Jo
Date: 04 May 20 - 02:59 PM

Three of my faves, and ones I consider to be excellent are:
Masters of War
To Ramona, and
Ballad in Plain D
Talking WW2 Blues is also great fun - yes, fun!
I believe Bob just liked to play around with words. Listen to his Nobel Prize Lecture.
Whilst on the subject of comparing poetry to music, I think MOST songs come fron (first) written poetry.
T Hardy wrote magnificent novels, and also poetry, some of it real drivel, but like someone once said (paraphrasing here) "You cant be great all of the time" and Dylan is no exception.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: oldhippie
Date: 04 May 20 - 03:27 PM

My favorite, Desolation Row, is ranked #5, I'm good with that.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: JHW
Date: 04 May 20 - 03:46 PM

Thanks for the reminder. Alternatively I have 'Younger than that now' CD. 30 and more songs by Bob Dylan but sung by other people.
Favourite track Not Dark Yet sung by Steve Philips at the Grosvenor, Robin Hood's Bay. I shall go downstairs and play it.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jo-Jo
Date: 04 May 20 - 03:47 PM

Correction Talking WW3 Blues.
Two songs which might be considered rubbish are: All the Tired Horses - the same line repeats all thru, but I love it!
The other: Wigwam, this is a 'song' consisting just of La La's but again I love it. Only Dylan could get away with that. The true test is that ppl STILL buy his music, made him very rich - wish I could do that!
My Faves list above is by no means exhaustive. Like Marmite you either hate or love Dylan.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 May 20 - 04:20 PM

What about the Christmas one!


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 04 May 20 - 05:31 PM

I’m not sure I understand the point about cliches in ‘Blowing in the Wind’, but do agree it has some flaws, and is only considered a great song because it had a great impact, appearing at a pivotal moment in music and politics. Verse One poses three questions of which two are bland and seemingly innocent, but the third is suddenly much darker. However, the next two verses don’t quite follow that pattern, and mix up the inoffensive questions and the ones packing a punch. Check out ‘Don’t Think Twice’ where each verse has a closing rhyming triplet, descending from an inoffensive comment to a great put down on the third line - I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul, you just kind of wasted my precious time, etc.

But overall, his output puts most modern songwriters to shame, bearing in mind he has discarded many songs that are better than many others could produce - Waggon Wheel, Abandoned Love, Up to Me, Series of Dreams, Wanted Man, Blind Willie McTell, Love is Just a Four Letter Word, etc, etc. You could probably produce an alternative list of fifty great songs he himself didn’t think were good enough to keep.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 05:48 PM

Check out ‘Don’t Think Twice’ where each verse has a closing rhyming triplet, quote,
dylan did not write most of that that it was written by paul clayton
dylan settled out of court, alittle bit of plagiarism by bobbie there


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 05:52 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTZ_hMiI8Tg good old bobbie nicking other peoples work,plagiarist


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 20 - 05:57 PM

Bob Dylan clearly took "inspiration" from this song to write the words and music of "Don't think twice, it's all right".    And,, he paid a good amount later on to Clayton
the controversy was due to the fact that Dylan copyrighted the tune is his own name, with no mention that he'd taken the melody from Paul Clayton, nor any reference to to the negro song that originally inspired Clayton's song.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: gillymor
Date: 04 May 20 - 06:43 PM

"You could probably produce an alternative list of fifty great songs he himself didn’t think were good enough to keep."
Good point, Jerry. He also gave McGuinn the opening line of what became "The Ballad of Easy Rider".

The Guardian article is pretty interesting to me with tidbits about
the songs but I notice the author also left out another of my favorites "Down in the Flood".


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 04 May 20 - 06:49 PM

Well, I never said he’d written ‘Don’t Think Twice’, and as for plagiarism, yes many of his early songs are rewrites of other songs or melodies (eg Fare Thee Well, Hollis Brown, Hard Rain, Girl From the North Country, Ballad in Plain D, Farewell Angelina, Bob Dylan’s Dream, Song to Woody, Masters of War, and even Blowing in the Wind). The chord sequence to ‘Twice’, and it’s implied melody, is a standard ragtime song pattern, which I agree can be traced back beyond Paul Clayton to black blues songsters.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: RTim
Date: 04 May 20 - 07:37 PM

If Masters of War is NOT in the top 50 listed (which it isn't..)...then I don't think you should take that list for much...IMO

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 May 20 - 01:59 AM

ballad in plain d is poor ,what is it supposed to be a rewrite of?.
borrowing a trad tune is one thing, taking somebody elses composition and calling it your own is plagiarism.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Allan Conn
Date: 05 May 20 - 02:58 AM

So many great songs on that list but even more great songs left off. It is all personal opinion of course. For instance "Blood On The Tracks" ia a wonderful album and I know "Idiot Wind" is widely lauded as a highlight on the album and it is on the list at #3 here for best Dylan songs. It is though for me one of my least favourite tracks on that album. Maybe it is more the delivery of the song that I don't get so much as I have heard an alternative more laid back stripped down version and actually really liked that. Other great songs from that period though not that album would include "One More Cup Of Coffee" which I love.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 05 May 20 - 03:03 AM

‘Ballad in Plain D’ uses the broadly same melody as ‘I once Loved a Girl’, and takes that first line, and twists a few later ones (‘are birds free from the chains of the skyway’) as a springboard for a largely new song. How far that’s plagiarism is a matter of opinion, especially when the original is presumably not covered by copyright anyway. He went on to be completely original though, after that initial phase of copying others.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,fasteddy
Date: 05 May 20 - 03:26 AM

Senor, Black diamond bay, Trying to get to heaven, Mississipi, Working mans blues....? Where do you stop?


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 May 20 - 05:17 AM

I got a good way through last night and knew a few more than I thought I did. I just did not recognise the titles. Listening while reading is not ideal but there were one or two I heard that were not up my street on first listen. I am reserving judgement on them :-)


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: gillymor
Date: 05 May 20 - 09:52 AM

I'd put My Back Pages way higher than 47. One of The Byrds best covers, IMO.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 May 20 - 11:38 AM

However despite my criticisms, i have to say that because of dylan , i discovered woody guthrie ,rambling jack elliott, and i belive through his popularity a lot of people were introduced to folk music and discovered other better folk performers


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 06 May 20 - 04:23 AM

Yes, quite so, but not just Folk performers, but also rock, blues, country, ‘Americana’, rhythm and blues, gospel, and even the ‘Great American Songbook’. We tend to be quick to criticise the folk episode in his long career, but that was only about four years out of about sixty as a performing artiste.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 May 20 - 07:22 AM

I was criticising some of his song writing[not all] but not from a folk perspective
from a song writing perspective as a popular songwriter RayDavies was more consistent, an opinion of course,but one based on analysis of some of his songs, my prefered are
times are a changing
masters of war
boots of spanish leather,
tambourine man
and this his best effort in my opinion
Come gather 'round friends and I'll tell you a tale
Of when the red iron pits ran a-plenty
But the cardboard-filled windows and old men on the benches
Tell you now that the whole town is empty
In the north end of town my own children are grown
But I was raised on the other
In the wee hours of youth my mother took sick
And I was brought up by my brother
The iron ore poured as the years passed the door
The drag lines an' the shovels they was a-humming
'Till one day my brother failed to come home
The same as my father before him
Well, a long winter's wait from the window I watched
My friends they couldn't have been kinder
And my schooling was cut as I quit in the spring
To marry John Thomas, a miner
Oh, the years passed again, and the giving was good
With the lunch bucket filled every season
What with three babies born, the work was cut down
To a half a day's shift with no reason
Then the shaft was soon shut, and more work was cut
And the fire in the air, it felt frozen
'Till a man come to speak, and he said in one week
That number eleven was closing
They complained in the East, they are paying too high
They say that your ore ain't worth digging
That it's much cheaper down in the South American towns
Where the miners work almost for nothing
So the mining gates locked, and the red iron rotted
And the room smelled heavy from drinking
Where the sad, silent song made the hour twice as long
As I waited for the sun to go sinking
I lived by the window as he talked to himself
This silence of tongues it was building
'Till one morning's wake, the bed it was bare
And I was left alone with three children
The summer is gone, the ground's turning cold
The stores one by one they're all folding
My children will go as soon as they grow
Well, there ain't nothing here now to hold them


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 06 May 20 - 12:57 PM

I always liked that one too, although it’s not perfect. It has a few dodgy rhymes and some clumsy scansion in places, highlighted by the perfect scansion in preceding or following lines. However, its strength lies in choosing to tell the story of miners through a witness to it all, as well slowing down a jig tune (The Ten Penny Bit?) to a haunting waltz.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 May 20 - 03:13 AM

Oh no! Even more to choose from! Bob has announced a new album titled Rough And Rowdy Ways.

He has also released a single titled False Prophet, his third during the coronavirus pandemic, following on from Murder Most Foul and I Contain Multitudes.

All three tracks will appear on Rough And Rowdy Ways, which will arrive on June 19, according to Dylan’s official Twitter account.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 08 May 20 - 04:29 AM

I like Wheels on Fire (as per the Julie Driscoll version). Not everybody realises it is a Dylan song.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 08 May 20 - 05:48 PM

Wheel’s On Fire was one of the Basement Tapes collection, which he apparently didn’t intend to put out as recordings, so his manager touted a lot of those discarded songs for others to record. Songs like the Mighty Quinn, Too Much of Nothing, Keep it With Mine, You Ain’t Going Nowhere, If You Gotta Go, etc then provided hits for the likes of Fairport Convention, Manfred Mann, The Animals, The Byrd’s and others. As you say, many people wouldn’t know they were Dylan songs.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: gillymor
Date: 08 May 20 - 05:57 PM

The Band included a notable version of it on their debut LP, Music From Big Pink, though it wasn't one of my favorites from that great album.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 May 20 - 07:25 AM

rough and rowdy ways, bet zimmerman cannot yodel he is not much of a singer these days , now listen to this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=073MdJzs5xU


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: gillymor
Date: 09 May 20 - 07:46 AM

Love is Just a Four Letter Word, not sure if it was mentioned here, is another good one that I don't think Dylan either recorded or performed in public. Joan Baez did a fine job with it.


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Subject: RE: Bob Dylan's 50 greatest songs
From: Dunkle
Date: 04 Oct 20 - 10:15 AM

Didn't look at the list, but I enjoy Tomorrow Is a Long Time, Boots of Spanish Leather, Chimes of Freedom, Tangled Up In Blue...


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