One more ride: Dylan’s mysterious song. Can you help unravel the mystery?

By Tony Attwood

If you have been following the postings of reviews of the Dylan songs in the 1970s you will know that by mid March 2018 we have pretty well got the whole decade sorted.  You can see the complete list for the whole decade with links to each and every song review by clicking here.     Just scroll down – its a pretty big list.

Anyway, the very last song to be reviewed is a mystery that I can’t solve.  But I am sure that someone else can… so here is my appeal.

The song is listed as “Daddy’s gonna take one more ride” by Heylin, and he mentions a possible source as well as it being performed in the New Haven soundcheck of September 1978.

 

Now we have been working through this video song by song (as you will either have seen from the reviews that preceded this or from the link to the songs of the 1970s.

We have one song left at the end of the sequence starting at around 16 minutes 22 seconds, and I can’t place this song.   The logical answer would be this is Heylin’s missing “Daddy’s gonna take one more ride.”   But I don’t hear those lyrics, nor do I recognise this as a song from anyone else (although of course my knowledge is only partial so it easily could be something I missed.

I have particularly looked around the work of Shel Siverstein whom Heylin particularly references but without any luck there.

So going further, to see if anyone else had trod this road before me I searched around some more and found that the person who writes the Dylan Haiku website hit exactly the same snag – looks like he really had reached the same dead end.

My next step was to ask Larry to see if he could disentangle the lyrics.   Larry commented that he found some “Mary Shelley / Poe-like possibilities and came up with…

Well, it seems to be the devil in this cold bod over there
And it won’t be satisfied if I remember where
But you know maybe the times that you said you care
Baby, may you never leave the electric chair

 

Let’s roll baby roll
Roll baby
Can’t you feel the feelin’ still
What ya doin’ up there
You gonna take a dive, baby-o

 

It is an extremely frustrating end to the journey through this era of Dylan’s writing, and if you can identify the song, provide some lyrics or give any other clues that would be wonderful as I think that would pretty much wrap up the build up to Slow Train – although again if you know of any song written in this period we’ve missed and can direct me to a recording, then even better.

If we head towards a solution I’ll re-write this page and of course acknowledge those who contribute – using whatever name you want to acknowledge your contribution.  If no one knows anything this page just stays here – a monument to the song that defeated us.

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7 Responses to One more ride: Dylan’s mysterious song. Can you help unravel the mystery?

  1. Larry Fyffe says:

    Confused perhaps – not defeated – the words are not easy to hear and are likely ad libbed, in any event.

  2. Morten Jonsson says:

    It’s a song you’ve discussed before: “More Than Flesh and Blood Can Bear.” Listen to the chorus again. The verse is different than in the other versions, though. I’d just drive myself insane if I tried to decipher the lyrics, but in the first line he’s singing “Well I was sleeping with the devil in the [something] hotel.” It’s definitely “hotel”; it rhymes with “I remember well” in the next line.

  3. Larry Fyffe says:

    You’ll get no argument from me…thanks for the enlightenment.

  4. Larry Fyffe says:

    Ah, that explains the line:

    The ghosts of electricity howls in the chair of her face – ‘chair’ being French for ‘flesh’! (lol)

  5. Larry Fyffe says:

    I was sleepin’ with the devil in the crowbar hotel

  6. Larry Fyffe says:

    As in:

    Went to see the gypsy
    Stayin’ in a big hotel
    He smiled when he saw me coming
    And he said, ‘Well, well, well’

  7. Larry Fyffe says:

    Also:

    They walked along by the old canal
    A little confused, I remember well
    And stopped into a strange hotel

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