Category Archives: The Songs

Dark Eyes: the meaning behind the Bob Dylan song

This review was updated in September 2016 By Tony Attwood There is a picture on the inner sleeve of Empire Burlesque of a dark haired woman, drawn in the same style (although without the broken face) of the woman who … Continue reading

Posted in Empire Burlesque, The Songs | 11 Comments

What was it you wanted?

A revised version of this review has now been posted and updated – complete with a link to a Willie Nelson version here. Apologies for the mix up. Tony

Posted in Oh Mercy, The Songs | 2 Comments

Blind Willie McTell: the meaning behind Bob Dylan’s song

Blind Willie McTell This review updated 8 October 2016 including the addition of the link to the Dylan recording of the electric version of this song – see the end of the review, and some further thoughts on the lack … Continue reading

Posted in Bootleg Series volume 3, Essential Bob Dylan, The Songs | 8 Comments

“Where were you last night?” by Bob Dylan. The meaning behind the lyrics and the music

Updated July 2016 By Tony Attwood The songs on the Traveling Wilburys albums are credited to the band as a whole rather than individual artists, but it is clear that this track from Volume 3 is a Dylan composition with … Continue reading

Posted in The Songs, Traveling Wilburys | 2 Comments

Not Dark Yet: Bob Dylan as 20th century Keats, and the memories that still linger

by Tony Attwood.  Revised April 2018, with links to recordings by Dylan and other artists.   “I try to live within that line between despondency and hope.”  Bob Dylan 1997.   Not Dark Yet is one of the triumphs of … Continue reading

Posted in Essential Bob Dylan, The Songs, Time out of mind | 12 Comments

All along the watch tower: Bob Dylan’s eternal masterpiece.

By Tony Attwood According to some the imagery in this song comes from the 21st chapter of the prophet Isaiah when a watchman on the watchtower sees two riders approaching.  Here is the text in the King James Version. 6 For … Continue reading

Posted in Essential Bob Dylan, The Songs | 10 Comments

Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” – from “Go way from my window” to “Yeah yeah yeah”

By Tony Attwood This review revised on 10 February 2018 Listening again (in 2018) the Dylan performing It Ain’t Me Babe in 1965 I’m struck by how clear and powerful the performance, and how carefully thought through are the variations … Continue reading

Posted in Another Side, Essential Bob Dylan, The Songs | 3 Comments

Blowing in the wind (1962). The meaning of the music and the lyrics.

By Tony Attwood Coming back to Blowing in the Wind after 45 years is a strange experience. There was a time when I, and all those like me, not only listened to it every day but also played it every … Continue reading

Posted in Freewheelin, The Songs | 3 Comments

Positively 4th Street: the meaning and the music with an interesting variant

Updated 5 August 2018 with live version added By Tony Attwood.  This review revised September 2014 and April 2018 with two videos added. Two lines of music – just eight bars long – repeated over and over and over.  And yet … Continue reading

Posted in Essential Bob Dylan, The Songs | 9 Comments

Visions of Johanna: the meaning of the music, the lyrics and the rewrites

By Tony Attwood. This article updated June 2017, with the Australia 1966 recording added February 2018 and a further version added April 2018. These days it takes a lot to stop me dead in my tracks while thinking about “Visions” … Continue reading

Posted in Blonde on Blonde, The Songs | 18 Comments

Bob Dylan’s “Time passes slowly” (1970). The world is not what you think.

By Tony Attwood Updated April 2018. In a rare move the Bob Dylan official site has put up a recording from the Bootleg Series Vol 10 – the recording of the song with George Harrison. Watch “Time Passes Slowly” There … Continue reading

Posted in New Morning, The Songs | 1 Comment

Mississippi: the meaning of Dylan’s music and lyrics and two live versions

By Tony Attwood Updated August 2018 with the addition of Alternate Version 3 which has suddenly popped up.  Here it is complete with different lyrics Rolling Stone called “Mississippi” “A drifter’s love song that seems to sum up Dylan’s entire … Continue reading

Posted in Tell Tales Signs, The Songs | 12 Comments