#AtoZ Dylan – “S” is for Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again


“All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” ~ Bob Dylan

Dylan young

“Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” appears on the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. It was recorded on Columbia’s Music Row in Nashville. The lyrics are fun, they’re very Dylanesque, but rather than trying to find meaning, this is simply a joy to listen to.

Click HERE for a link to the song’s lyrics.

The Grateful Dead covered this song extensively during their live shows, as seen here in this clip from a concert at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia in 1989.

 

#AtoZ Dylan – “R” is for Ring Them Bells


“All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” ~ Bob Dylan

Dylan young

Well, it happened again. A post with no words or music. My apologies – I don’t know why it happened, but it did. I had these A to Z posts written, uploaded, and scheduled well over a month ago, and I had previewed them. So it’s disappointing. But here is “Ring Them Bells.”

“Ring Them Bells” appears on Dylan’s 26th studio album, Oh Mercy, released in September 1989 by Columbia Records. It was hailed by critics, after a string of poorly reviewed albums.

Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

I found this beautiful rendition by Sarah Jarosz (which made it all the more frustrating when it didn’t post correctly).

#AtoZ Dylan – “Q” is for Quinn the Eskimo


“All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” ~ Bob Dylan

Dylan young

“Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)” was first recorded during The Basement Tapes sessions in 1967. The song was first released in January 1968 as “Mighty Quinn” by the British band Manfred Mann, who had great success. (source: Wikipedia)

Many believe Dylan created the character of Quinn the Eskimo from the actor Anthony Quinn’s portrayal of an Eskimo in the 1960 file The Savage Innocents. Dylan, however, has been quoted as saying it’s just a nursery rhyme.

Click HERE for a link to the song’s lyrics.

“Quinn the Eskimo” has been covered by Kris Kristofferson, The Hollies, The Grateful Dead, and Joan Osborne, but it’s this original – a 1968 performance by Manfred Mann – that makes the cut:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “P” is for Positively 4th Street


“All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” ~ Bob Dylan

Dylan young

 

Released as a single in 1965, “Positively 4th Street” is ranked #206 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. There’s been much debate about who the song is about. The odd thing about this song is the biting, harsh-as-anything lyrics juxtaposed with the music – that circus organ is so pop!

Click HERE for a link to the song’s lyrics.

“Positively 4th Street” has been covered by Johnny Rivers, Bryan Ferry, and Jerry Garcia. It was difficult to find any version than can match Dylan’s original, but this A to Z series is about covers of Dylan songs, so here’s the band Simply Red in Sicily:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “O” is for On the Road Again


“All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” ~ Bob Dylan

Dylan young

Recorded in January 1965, “On the Road Again” appears on the album Bringing it All Back Home. It’s slightly reminiscent of “Maggie’s Farm,” which is on the same album.

Click HERE for a link to this song’s lyrics.

Dylan has acknowledged being influenced by Jack Kerouac, and the title of this song is likely taken from Kerouac’s iconic On the Road.

Take a listen to Zachary Scot Johnson’s version of “On the Road Again” here:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “N” is for North Country Blues


“All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” ~ Bob Dylan

Dylan young

“North Country Blues” was released on Dylan’s album The Times They Are a-Changin’ in 1964. The song is about the demise of a mining town (no specific town, but it could be any of many).

Click HERE for a link to the song’s lyrics.

Joan Baez covered the song in 1968. Here is a version by English folksinger Martin Simpson:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “M” is for Masters of War


“All I can do is be me, whoever that is.” ~ Bob Dylan

Dylan young

“Masters of War” was written over the winter of 1962–63 and released on Dylan’s album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963. The song’s melody was adapted from the traditional song “Nottamun Town.” Dylan’s lyrics were a protest against the Cold War nuclear arms build-up of the early 1960s. (source: Wikipedia)

Click HERE for a link to the song’s lyrics.

In a 2001 interview, published in USA Today, Dylan said this about “Masters of War”:

“Masters of War”… is supposed to be a pacifist song against war. It’s not an anti-war song. It’s speaking against what Eisenhower was calling a military-industrial complex as he was making his exit from the presidency. That spirit was in the air, and I picked it up.

Here is Eddie Vedder’s version:

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