#AtoZ Dylan – “J” is for Just Like a Woman


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

Dylan young

“Just Like a Woman” was included on Dylan’s album Blonde on Blonde (1966). Rolling Stone ranked it at #232 in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. So, who was the song written about? <shrugs> Some speculate it was Edie Sedgwick and others say it was Joan Baez. It could be more than just one woman, and does it really matter?

Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

“Just Like a Woman” has been covered by Stevie Nicks, Roberta Flack, even Nina Simone. Here is a version by the Old Crow Medicine Show, performed live at the Country Music Hall of Fame:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “I” is for I Shall be Released


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

Dylan young

 

Written in 1967, “I Shall be Released” shows a heavy gospel influence, and whether you interpret the lyrics literally (as a prisoner about to be released from prison) or metaphorical (one’s own redemption), this song ranks up with Dylan’s greatest.

Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

“I Shall be Released” has been covered widely, by Joe Cocker, Ricky Nelson, Aaron Neville, among many others. For me, Bette Midler’s version on her album The Divine Miss M is goosebump-worthy.

For a visual, I’m going with Chrissie Hynde:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “H” is for Hurricane


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

Dylan young

 

“Hurricane” was written by Dylan with Jacques Levy, and is about the imprisonment of fighter Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, an American-Canadian middleweight boxer, wrongfully convicted of murder and released from prison after spending nearly 20 years incarcerated. The song was released on Dylan’s album Desire in January 1976.

Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

“Hurricane” has been covered by Ani DiFranco, Middle Class Rut, and The Milltown Brothers, among others. Here is a version by New Rising Sun:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “G” is for Gotta Serve Somebody


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

Dylan young

“Gotta Serve Somebody” appeared on Dylan’s 1979 album Slow Train Coming. It won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Male in 1979At the time he wrote the song, Dylan was a born-again Christian. John Lennon actually wrote the song “Serve Yourself” in response (“You gotta serve yourself, ain’t nobody gonna do it for you”)

Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

Covered by such diverse artists as Devo, Natalie Cole, and Willie Nelson, here is a great version by the fabulous Mavis Staples with Johnny Lang, performed in 2011 in Washington, DC:

#AtoZ Dylan – “F” is for Forever Young


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

Dylan young

“Forever Young” first appeared on Bob Dylan’s 1974 album Planet Waves in two versions, one fast and one slow. The slow version is the one most often covered.

According to notes Dylan wrote to include with his album Biograph (where a demo version of “Forever Young” was included), he wrote the song for his son Jesse. Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

If you’re thinking about the Rod Stewart version, know that Stewart wrote a song called “Forever Young” that sounded remarkably similar to Dylan’s. Stewart consulted with Dylan and the two men agreed to share royalties. Artists who have covered Dylan’s song include Joan Baez, Diana Ross, and Johnny Cash. Here is a lovely version by The Tenors:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “E” is for Emotionally Yours


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

Dylan young

“Emotionally Yours” was first launched onstage in February 1986 and appears on the album Empire Burlesque.  It’s certainly not one of his better-known songs, but unlike the folk ballads and civil rights anthems of just a few years past, “Emotionally Yours” is a love song. Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

This beautiful cover of “Emotionally Yours” is performed by Julie Kathryn:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “D” is for Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right


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

Dylan young

 

Apologies to all of you who opened this post from your inbox this morning and saw nothing! I don’t know what happened, but here is the post:

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” was recorded in November 1962 and released on the 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The song was used on the television series Mad Men and Friday Night Lights, among others.

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” has been covered by a lot of people, including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Bobby Darin, Glen Campbell, and Gordon Lightfoot. This version, by Ed Sheeran, is worth a listen:

 

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