What’s it gonna be when it comes up? Dylan does the New York Jazz Scene.



By Tony Attwood

Disc five of the Complete Basement Tapes album has some gems on it but also a range of oddments.  Not as odd as some of the earlier discs in the six disc set certainly, because the Band clearly are much more together and Bob has told the guys a bit about what to expect as each song comes along, but even so, what to expect is often rather odd.

Of course if you are in the business of knowing what to expect you can try netbet.co.ukwhere your ability to predict the future will come in very handy, but otherwise listening to track after track of the Basement Tapes can leave one sometimes feeling that one of two eventualities can explain what is going on.

Either you are on another planet or else Bob and the band were, when they recorded some of these tracks.

And if there is another such planet to be on, and it is a planet that has some vague connection to Planet Earth, then that is not necessarily the Planet Earth that I know.

For example, when I tell you that the Haiku 61 for this song goes like this

Animal instinct:
If Bob were a chicken, he’d
Want to hear his sneeze.

you will know we are into a strange, strange land indeed.

In fact Bob is doing a take off of the 1960s New York jazz club in this song, probably in just such a club at 3am.   I can’t say that for sure of course, for as old as I am I am not old enough to have been in such a joint at such a time in such a decade.  But having been there later and indeed in some of the jazz clubs in Soho in London as well, I think I can see where he was at the time.

There’s little on the internet to help us here decode this song, just the lyrics provided by Haiku 61, so with any sort of commentary we are cutting new ground.

NobodysingsDylanlikeDylan also has the a set of lyrics –  but I suspect that site has copied them from Haiku 61 but without acknowledgement.   At least I admit where I got them from – although here I’ve added quite a few variations of my own.  It just depends how you hear the piece.

I see you but, no no no don’t live no more
Yes oh baby oh baby doll baby doll oh no more
Well you’re so far away from my holy land
Gotta hold the door man she’s too much I tell you

Yes I’m on this one-room Cadillac, just er taking in the breeze
If I was a chicken now, I’d just want to hear myself sneeze
Mmmm, somethin’ sure looks good goin’ down boys 

But what’s it going to do when it comes up

Bb-b-b-b-bba-ba-boo mmmmmm
So good to see you again still looking good

Mmmm, gonna tell you when it hurts, it hurts
Now dog get out of hear quick before my master comes
ba-da-da-da-da-do (etc etc).

Oh yeah! (Applause)

I trust you found that illuminating.

What else is on the site?

You’ll find an index to our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

The index to the 500+ songs reviewed is now on a new page of its own.  You will find it here.  It contains links to reviews of every Dylan composition that we can find a recording of – if you know of anything we have missed please do write in.

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

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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *