Dylan songs of the 1960s

Dylan in Chronological Order of writing (not in the order of recording)

On this site there are reviews of Dylan’s compositions from all parts of his life, up to the most recent writings.  As part of this work I decided to put the songs in the order in which they were written, and this, to me, gives a huge additional insight into the way in which Dylan was working, year by year.

Additionally I am adding a short over view of each year, and a very brief comment on the “Highlight of the Year”.  These are of course totally personal reflections, but in case you have an interest they are being gathered together in the “Year by Year; Decade by Decade” file.

Here’s the index to the Chronology Series

Dylan songs of the 1960s…

 

1961

Dylan in 1961: The Overview

Highlight of the year:  Talking Bear Mountain – Dylan took an existing format and used it in a completely new way – not a bad move for a 20 year old.  But “Song to Woodie” although not original music is a profound way to start your career as a lyricist.

  1. Song to Woodie
  2. Talkin New York 
  3. Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues.
  4. Talkin Hava Negeilah blues
  5. Man on the street
  6. Hard times in New York Town

 

1962 

Dylan in 1962: The Overview

Highlight of the year: Ballad for a friend.  This little known blues song is utter perfection, using rhythm and lyrics to give the blues format a new twist and hold our attention totally throughout.

  1. Ballad for a friend (Blues; Death)
  2. Poor Boy Blues
  3. Rambling Gambling Willie
  4. Standing on the highway (Blues)
  5. Talkin’ John Birch Society Blues (Right wing protest)
  6. Death of Emmett Till
  7. The Ballad of Donald White (social commentary)
  8. Let me die in my footsteps
  9. Blowing in the wind  (It’s not the world, it’s the way you see the world)
  10. Corrina Corrina (Lost love)
  11. Honey just allow me one more chance
  12. Rocks and Gravel
  13. Quit your Lowdown Ways
  14. Baby I’m in the mood for you (Absolute desire)
  15. Down the Highway (Lost love, Song of Leaving)
  16. Bob Dylan’s Blues  (Comedy)
  17. Tomorrow is a long time (Lost love)
  18. Hard Rain’s a gonna fall (War protest)
  19. Ballad of Hollis Brown (Rural protest)
  20. John Brown (War protest)
  21. Don’t think twice (Song of Leaving)
  22. Paths of Victory. (The future will be fine)
  23. Walking Down the Line
  24. Oxford Town (Racism Protest)
  25. Kingsport Town (lost love, moving on)
  26. Hero Blues
  27. Whatcha Gonna Do? 

1963 

Dylan in 1963: the overview – Dylan the storyteller

Highlight of the year: When the Ship Comes In.  Part religious, part protest, this has all the vigour and vitality of change and reform that “Times they are a changing” (written soon after) doesn’t get close to with imagery that is utterly new within this type of music.

  1. Masters of War (War protest)
  2. Girl from the North Country (Lost Love)
  3. Boots of Spanish Leather (Song of Leaving)
  4. Bob Dylan’s Dream (Lost love)
  5. Only a Hobo
  6. Who killed Davey Moore?  (Boxing, Inequality)
  7. Walls of Red Wing
  8. Seven Curses
  9. With God on our Side (Protest)
  10. Talking World War III Blues (Protest, surrealism)
  11. Only a pawn in their game  (Social commentary, protest)
  12. Eternal Circle (Nothing changes)
  13. North Country Blues (Rural protest)
  14. Gypsy Lou  (Art, Protest)
  15. When the ship comes in  (Protest)
  16. The Times they are a-Changing (Protest)
  17. Percy’s Song
  18. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Protest, racism)
  19. Lay Down your Weary Tune
  20. One too many mornings (Song of Leaving)
  21. Restless Farewell

1964 

Bob Dylan in 1964: the overview. Dylan the storyteller.

Highlight of the year: It’s all right ma.   Line after line of indictment of the modern age delivered with such power and passion.  No one ever wrote a song like this before.

  1. Chimes of Freedom (Protest)
  2. Mr Tambourine Man (Surrealism; the way we see the world)
  3. I don’t believe you (She acts like we never have met) (Lost love)
  4. Spanish Harlem Incident (Love)
  5. Motorpsycho Nightmare  (Humour)
  6. It ain’t me babe (Song of Farewell)
  7. Mama you’ve been on my mind (Lost love)
  8. Ballad in Plain D  (Lost love)
  9. Black Crow Blues
  10. I shall be free number 10  (Talking Blues; humour)
  11. To Ramona (Love)
  12. All I really want to do (Song of Farewell; Individualism)
  13. I’ll keep it with mine (Don’t follow leaders; individualism)
  14. My back pages (Individualism)  See also Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages”. He was so much older then.
  15. Gates of Eden (Protest, Individualism, A world that makes no sense)
  16. It’s all right ma – 2013 review (Protest; Individualism, A world that makes no sense)  It’s all right ma – 2015 review
  17. If you’ve gotta go, go now (Song of Farewell; Individualism)

1965

Bob Dylan in 1965: the year Dylan invented two totally new forms of music.

Highlight of the year: Impossible to choose.  “Subterranean” gave beat poetry a place in pop and rock, Love Minus Zero took love songs into the world of the unsayable, “Rolling Stone” created the songs of disdain, “Desolation Row” took political protest to a totally new level and “Johanna” took music into impressionism.

  1. Farewell Angelina (Song of Farewell)
  2. Subterranean Homesick Blues (Beat Poetry as rock music)
  3. Outlaw Blues
  4. Love Minus Zero (Love)
  5. She Belongs to Me (Love)
  6. It’s all over now baby blue (Song of Farewell)
  7. Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream (Beat poetry as rock music)
  8. On the Road Again
  9. Maggie’s Farm
  10. It takes a lot to laugh it takes a train to cry (aka Phantom Engineer)
  11. Sitting on a barbed wire fence
  12. Like a Rolling Stone (Song of Disdain)
  13. Tombstone Blues
  14. Desolation Row (Political protest; It’s not the world, it’s how you see the world)
  15. Can you please crawl out your window? (Song of Disdain)
  16. Positively Fourth Street (Song of Disdain)
  17. Highway 61 Revisited (Blues)
  18. Just like Tom Thumb’s Blues
  19. Queen Jane Approximately
  20. Ballad of a thin man
  21. Jet Pilot
  22. I wanna be your lover
  23. Visions of Johanna

1966 

Dylan in 1966 the overview: writing songs while the band patiently waits

Highlight of the Year: One of us must know.   Not most people’s choice, indeed probably no one’s choice by mine, but this song takes one of the three fundamental themes of pop (lost love – the other two are love and dance) and gives it a totally new twist. A completely new way of saying farewell.

  1. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
  2. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowland
  3. Fourth Time Around
  4. Leopard skin pill-box hat
  5. One of us must know (sooner or later)
  6. She’s your lover now (disdain)
  7. Absolutely Sweet Marie
  8. Just like a woman
  9. Pledging my time
  10. Most likely you go your way and I’ll go mine
  11. Temporary Like Achilles
  12. Rainy Day Women
  13. Obviously Five Believers
  14. I want you
  15. If I was a king (the song from the Edinburgh hotel)

1967

Dylan in 1967: the overview.   A year of two, or maybe three halves.

Highlight of the year: Drifter’s Escape.  It has but one line of music, but takes the impressionism of Johanna into a totally new context at yet another level.  This world is not real.  This world makes no sense.  This world offers hope to the lost: the problem is finding the door.

In terms of the songs I’ve now included all the Basement songs that appear to be Dylan originals.  It is going to take a while to sort them out!

  1. Edge of the Ocean
  2. One for the road
  3. Roll on Train
  4. Under control
  5. I’m guilty of loving you
  6. I’m a fool for you
  7. See you later Alan Ginsberg
  8. Tiny Montgomery
  9. Big Dog
  10. I’m Your Teenage Prayer
  11. One Man’s Loss
  12. Lock your door
  13. Baby wont you be my baby
  14. Try me little girl
  15. I can’t make it alone
  16. Don’t you try me now
  17. Million dollar bash
  18. Yeah heavy and a bottle of bread
  19. Please Mrs Henry
  20. Lo and behold
  21. Crash on the Levee
  22. Dress it up, Better have it all
  23. I’m not there (lost love, regret)
  24. You ain’t going nowhere
  25. This Wheel’s on Fire
  26. I shall be released
  27. Too Much of Nothing
  28. Tears of rage
  29. Quinn the Eskimo – The Mighty Quinn (surreal characters)
  30. Open the Door Homer
  31. Nothing was delivered
  32. Sign on the cross
  33. Sante Fe
  34. Odds and Ends
  35. Clothes line saga
  36. I’m alright (note: the dating of this song is just a guess).
  37. Apple Suckling Tree
  38. Get your rocks off
  39.  Silent Weekend
  40. Don’t ya tell Henry
  41. Going to Acapulco
  42. Bourbon Street
  43. My Woman’s She’s a Leaving
  44. Mary Lou I love you too
  45. Dress it up better have it all
  46. What’s it gonna be when it comes up
  47. Flight of the bumblebee
  48. All you have to do is dream
  49. 2 Dollars and 99 Cents
  50. Jelly Bean
  51. Any Time
  52. Down by the Station
  53. That’s the breaks
  54. Pretty Mary
  55. King of France
  56. She’s on my mind again
  57. On a rainy afternoon
  58. I Can’t Come in with a Broken Heart
  59. Next time on the highway
  60. Northern Claim
  61. Love is only mine
  62. Bring it on home
  63. The Spanish Song
  64. The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
  65. Drifter’s Escape (There is no cause and effect)
  66. I dreamed I Saw St Augustine
  67. All along the watch tower
  68. John Wesley Harding
  69. As I Went out one Morning
  70. I am a lonesome hobo
  71. I pity the poor Immigrant
  72. The Wicked Messenger
  73. Dear Landlord
  74. I’ll be your baby tonight (original) I’ll be your baby tonight (second thoughts)
  75. Down along the cove

1968 

Bob Dylan in 1968.   As his country pulls itself apart, Dylan takes a year out.

Highlight of the year: Dylan can stop.  And stop he did.  After over 100 songs in the past seven years, at a time when it looked as if everything from the arts to politics was changing forever, Dylan just stopped.

  1. Lay Lady Lay

1969 

Bob Dylan in 1969: everything is lovely

Highlight of the year: Dylan can change.  I can’t pick a song from the list of new compositions because nothing here matches what has gone before, and nothing really grabs me as original, new, or overwhelmingly beautiful.  But it was the experimentation with country music that brought Dylan back to songwriting.  Without that twist, he might never have written again.

Please note that the dating of Minstrel Boy is uncertain.  Musically I think it fits in 1969 but it is impossible to prove.  There is more about this in the review

  1. Minstrel Boy
  2. I threw it all away
  3. To be alone with you
  4. One more night
  5. Peggy Day
  6. Country Pie
  7. Tell me it isn’t true
  8. Tonight I’ll be Staying Here With You
  9. Living the blues

Elsewhere on Untold Dylan

Index of all the songs on the site

Dylan’s opening lines: an index

How Dylan writes songs, and other articles.

The Bob Dylan Project is a jukebox of every Dylan song – and like Untold Dylan it is free.  I hope you enjoy that site too, as they have found us, and adopted us (so to speak).