“I can’t leave her behind” Bob Dylan’s left behind snippet from the hotel room

By Tony Attwood

There are a whole load of false trails supposedly leading to on line versions of this song which are either closed down or go nowhere at all or lead to another song, and indeed wandering through them I nearly gave up, completely unable to understand why this song is so very highly regarded by some readers of Expecting Rain. 

But then I finally found what they were talking about: the best recording by far

http://nodepression.com/video/bob-dylan-i-cant-leave-her-behind

And the deletions of tracks from the internet being what it is, I suppose that might well disappear soon.  Which means you might have to go out and buy The Cutting Edge, where it can be found on disk 18 in two versions.

It’s nice but on its own I am not sure I would spend all that money just for this one.

Where she leads me I do not know
Well, she leads me where she goes
I can’t find her nowhere
Well, she needs me here
All aware I can’t hear her walk
I just cannot hear her talk
Though sometimes, you know you will
And when she comes my way
I’ll just be left any night or day
I will hear her say
That I don’t wanna try
I tried, also cried
But I can’t leave her behind

But in case that link vanishes here is another link this time to version B

 

The song is described in some quarters as a country song, pre-dating but related to the “Nashville Skyline” approach but I feel that is stretching it a little.  It is gentle and lyrical but not particularly country, at least to my ear.

Anyway, it turned up in Pennebaker’s documentary relating to 1966, “Eat The Document.”

I think it is fair to say when heard in the first link above I had to admit it is a really lovely song, and not at all what one is used to from Dylan, but for me (and of course this is very personal) it is not distinguished from a fairly large number of other love and lost love songs.

Clearly from the Expecting Rain comments some people really do love this song, and I am not knocking that.  It is just on the very personal basis it doesn’t have that unique something that makes Dylan songs at once recognisable as Dylan songs no matter how, where and when played.

Think there’s something missing or wrong with this review?

You are of course always welcome to write a comment below, but if you’d like to go further, you could write an alternative review – we’ve already published quite a few of these.  We try to avoid publishing reviews and comments that are rude or just criticisms of what is written elsewhere – but if you have a positive take on this song or any other Dylan song, and would like it considered for publication, please do email Tony@schools.co.uk

What else is on the site

1: Over 490 reviews of Dylan songs.  There is an index to these in alphabetical order on 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 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 produced 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.

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 our articles on various writers’ lists of Dylan’s ten greatest songs.

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

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5 Responses to “I can’t leave her behind” Bob Dylan’s left behind snippet from the hotel room

  1. Laurie says:

    It is Dylan in his innocent glory

  2. Laurie says:

    The face of an angel, the voice of an angel, and the heart of an angel.

  3. rw says:

    it has the same elusive genius as Patty gone to Laredo. Can’t name or hold it but its there.

  4. Hazard says:

    Yeah, he should DEFINATELY have changed:
    1.) the first SHE from she to SHE (my girlfriend/lover)
    2.) and the last SHE from she to SHE (MY WIFE.)
    The little snake !

  5. Hello there Tony, Thank you for posting this analysis of a song from Bob Dylan’s Music Box http://thebobdylanproject.com/Song/id/466/On-a-Rainy-Afternoon-I-Cant-Leave-Her-Behind Come and join us inside and listen to every song composed, recorded or performed by Bob Dylan, plus all the great covers streaming on YouTube, Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud plus so much more… including this link.

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