Baby I’m in the mood for you; take a Dylan song and reinvent it.

by Tony Attwood

If we take a look at the songs Dylan wrote around the time of “Baby I’m in the mood for you” we can see, as I have mentioned before, this incredible variety of musical forms and styles – as if everything within popular, folk, and blues music was in his head and all tumbling over each other to get out and be recorded.

And it is not just the musical forms but also the subject matter that is varied too from a philosophy of how we see the world to basic desire, from a protest about everything being wrong with the world to a song of leaving, from lost love to… well it goes on and on.

Here’s the list

Curiously with this knockabout song we have a number of versions available, but none of them correspond that much to the lyrics on the official Bob Dylan site, but then the lyrics are just part of the exuberance, not in anyway the sort of meaningful and informative lyrics that Dylan could write in other songs on the list.

The inspiration was said by Dylan at one time to come from Jesse Fuller, and here’s an example of his work – not especially the influence that led to this Dylan song, but just a Jesse Fuller song that I like and which is available on line.

According to reports there is a letter from Bob which to Suze Rotolo in which he says the song is dedicated to her.

The versions that Dylan recorded for Freewheelin have been removed from the internet, but we do have this

There are verses in the song that that seems to express just where Dylan is at this time perfectly, jumping from thought to thought and feeling to feeling…   This for example turns up as the third verse on the Biograph version but the last verse according to the official site

Sometimes I’m in the mood, I wanna change my house around
Sometimes I’m in the mood, I’m gonna make a change in this here town
Sometimes I’m in the mood, I’m gonna change the world around
But then again, but then again, I said oh, I said oh, I said
Oh babe, I’m in the mood for you.

Here’s another take…

What brought this song back to life was the recording of the song by Miley Cyrus, which if you have never heard it, I really do recommend.  I enjoy it enormously but even if you don’t it is an absolute lesson in how music can be utterly rearranged to become something else, even while keeping the original notion (if you see what I mean).

And if you have a moment I would ask that you start with the version below and hear it all the way through, and then just think about the origins of this piece in terms of the Dylan recording.  It is quite a journey.

And here is one more giving another insight into the possibilities

Of course it is possible to re-work all sorts of songs, but I think there is so much within the lyrics of most Dylan songs that endless possibilities emerge when one starts playing with them.

It’s quite a journey.  I wonder what Bob thinks of it all.

What else is on the site

1: Over 450 reviews of Dylan songs.  There is an index to these in alphabetical order at the foot of the home page, and an index to the songs in the order they were written in the Chronology Pages.

2: The Chronology.  We’ve taken all the songs we can find recordings of and put them in the order they were written (as far as possible) not in the order they appeared on albums.  The chronology is more or less complete and is now linked to all the reviews on the site.  We have also recently started to produce overviews of Dylan’s work year by year.     The index to the chronologies is here.

3: Bob Dylan’s themes.  We publish a wide range of articles about Bob Dylan and his compositions.  There is an index here.  A second index lists the articles under the poets and poetic themes cited – you can find that here.

4:   The Discussion Group    We now have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook.  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

5:  Bob Dylan’s creativity.   We’re fascinated in taking the study of Dylan’s creative approach further.  The index is in Dylan’s Creativity.

6: You might also like: A classification of Bob Dylan’s songs and partial Index to Dylan’s Best Opening Lines

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews.



  1. The song’s on the Talkin Bear Massacre Picnic Blues vinyl bootleg of 1971 Trade Mark of Quality. The version may be the second demo above, but on a quick listen, I’m not positive about that.

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