#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 – “C” is for Chimes of Freedom


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

Dylan young

“Chimes of Freedom” was featured on Dylan’s 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan. Music critic Paul Williams, a leading authority on Bob Dylan, has described “Chimes of Freedom” as Dylan’s Sermon on the Mount. The lyrics have been analyzed by many, some referencing the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, others thinking the song included Dylan’s reflections on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

The first public performance of the song took place in early 1964, either at the Civic Auditorium in Denver or at the Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, California. It’s been covered by The Byrds, Jefferson Starship, Joan Osborne, and Warren Zevon, among others. Here is Bruce Springsteen’s version, played in East Berlin in 1988:

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#AtoZ Dylan – “B” is for Blowin’ in the Wind


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

Dylan young

Written in 1962, “Blowin’ in the Wind” appeared on Dylan’s album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963. Fifty-seven years later, we still don’t know the answers to the questions he posed in the song. Click HERE for a link to the lyrics.

“Blowin’ in the Wind” quickly became symbolic to the civil rights movement, and was recorded by The New World Singers, then sung by Peter, Paul & Mary on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963, just hours before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his memorable ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Others have recorded it, of course, including Glen Campbell, Stevie Wonder, and Dolly Parton. Of all the covers of BITW, this is my favorite:

 

 

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#AtoZ Dylan – “A” is for All Along the Watchtower


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

Dylan young

“All Along the Watchtower” originally appeared on Dylan’s 1967 album, John Wesley Harding. The cover by Jimi Hendrix may be the best known and most recognized, but AATW has been recorded by the Dave Matthews Band, U2, Neil Young, Bryan Ferry, and Pearl Jam, among countless others.

Several people have written that the lyrics in this song echo lines in Isaiah 21:5-9

Wherever possible throughout the month, I’ll include a link to the lyrics. Click HERE for the lyrics to “All Along the Watchtower.”
Be wowed by John Mayer covering AATW to kick off the April A to Z Challenge –

 

 

 

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