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…



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



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. Rambling Gambling Willie
  3. Standing on the highway (Blues)
  4. Talkin’ John Birch Society Blues (Right wing protest)
  5. The Ballad of Donald White (social commentary)
  6. Let me die in my footsteps
  7. Blowing in the wind  (It’s not the world, it’s the way you see the world)
  8. Corrina Corrina (Lost love)
  9. Quit your Lowdown Ways
  10. Down the Highway (Lost love, Song of Leaving)
  11. Tomorrow is a long time (Lost love)
  12. Hard Rain’s a gonna fall (War protest)
  13. Ballad of Hollis Brown (Rural protest)
  14. John Brown (War protest)
  15. Don’t think twice (Song of Leaving)
  16. Paths of Victory. (The future will be fine)
  17. Walking Down the Line
  18. Oxford Town (Racism Protest)
  19. Kingsport Town (lost love, moving on)
  20. Hero Blues
  21. Whatcha Gonna Do? 


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


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)


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. I wanna be your lover
  22. Visions of Johanna


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)


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


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


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.

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