Dylan nobody knows: “Remember Me” and “Black Cross”

By Aaron Galbraith

Here are two songs I know only a little about except Dylan’s versions are spellbinding, and they are both takes from 1961…possibly my two favourites from all those early party Tapes.

First, “Remember Me (When The Candle Lights Are Gleaming)”

This is from the East Orange Tapes.

The sweetest songs are sung by lovers in the moonlight,
The sweetest days are the days that used to be.
The saddest words I ever heard were words of parting
When you said “Sweetheart, remember me.”

CHORUS:
Remember me when the candle lights are gleamin’,
Remember me at the close of a long, long day.
Just be so sweet when all alone you’re dreamin’
Just to know you still remember me.

A brighter face may take my place when we’re apart, dear,
A brighter smile an’ a love more bold and free.
But in the end, fair weather friends may break your heart, dear.
An’ if they do, sweetheart, remember me.

CHORUS:
Remember me when the candle lights are gleamin’,
Remember me at the close of a long, long day.
Just to be so sweet when all alone you’re dreamin’
Just to know you still remember me.

You told me once you were mine alone forever,
You were mine till the end of eternity.
But now it’s over, dear, and we can never
Be the same except in memory.

CHORUS:
Remember me when the candle lights are gleamin’,
Remember me at the close of a long, long day.
Just be so sweet when all alone you’re dreamin’
Just to know you still remember me.

The song is credited to Scott Wiseman who in a letter to Dorothy Horstman in 1973 wrote:

“This song was written in 1939 when LuLu Belle and I spent a year at radio station WLW, Cincinnati. In our guest room at home when I was a child there was a fancy old cup and saucer which sat on the dresser. The phrase “Remember Me” was on the cup in fancy gold lettering. We children were not allowed to touch this momento of the sentimental Gay Nineties, somehow connected with the courtship of Mother and Dad. Feeling a bit homesick and sentimental during the bustle of radio shows and road trips, I “made up” the song while riding in the car to personal appearance jobs. The lyric was not intended to apply to any particular person.”

“Girl from the North Country,” including the line from the refrain “Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine”.

Our second recording here is Black Cross.

This is from the Minnesota Party Tapes.  It always makes me step back a little (well a lot) when the n word crops up in a song, and this time is no different.

Hezekiah was a poor black farmer, who committed the unpardonable crime of reading books and thinking for himself.  The white people thought him harmless enough, but also had the attitude that “reading ain’t no good for an ignorant nigger”.

As a result the Reverend Green, of the local church, asked Hezekiah if he believed in the Lord, the church, and Heaven. Hezekiah replied, that he’d never seen the Lord; that the church was divided; and that he tried to be as good as he could without expecting anything from Heaven or the Lord.

“You don’t believe nothin’,” said the white man’s preacher.
“Oh yes I do,” said Hezekiah,
“I believe that a man should be beholding to his neighbor
Without the reward of Heaven or the fear of hell fire.”

“Well, there’s a lot of good ways for a man to be wicked!”
And they hung Hezekiah as high as a pigeon,
And the nice folks around said, “Well, he had it comin’
‘Cause the son-of-a-bitch didn’t have no religion!”[2]

The poem was a signature piece of the American stage performer Lord Buckley who (if you have been paying attention) you may recall we have mentioned before. A live performance, in which he speaks the words over a solo female voice singing and humming the and a sparse instrumental accompaniment, is included on his 1959 album Way Out Humor.

What else is on the site?

We have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with over 4200 active members.  (Try imagining a place where it is always safe and warm).  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

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

The index to all the 602 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found on the A to Z page.

If you are interested in Dylan’s work from a particular year or era, your best place to start is Bob Dylan year by year.

On the other hand if you would like to write for this website, or indeed have an idea for a series of articles that the regular writers might want to have a go at, please do drop a line with details of your idea, or if you prefer, a whole article to Tony@schools.co.uk

And please do note our friends at  The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and

 

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4 Responses to Dylan nobody knows: “Remember Me” and “Black Cross”

  1. Roger Adams says:

    I have this Dylan version but for sheer playability (listenability?) I’d recommend the version by “The Companions of the Rosy Hour” (COTRH) on the CD “Get Weaving” which featured artists who appeared at the Weavers Arms pub in London in the 1980’s & 90’s. I saw Butch Hancock & Jimmie Dale Gilmore there back in the early 90’s. Great evening. The COTRH version is just so sweet. Bob’s is take is great and shows he had even then a real appetite for nostalgia – something that came the fore on the NET with his choice of “one-off”performances such as “The Times We’ve Known” and “I’m Not Supposed to Care”. He was a child of 40’s and 50’s radio that’s all.

  2. Larry fyffe says:

    An old Manitoba song goes:

    But remember the Red River Valley
    And the girl who has loved you so true

  3. r whelan says:

    Dylan plays a little snippet of this song released on the Cutting Edge extended CD with Joan Baez singing in the background. 4-5 years and a million miles away from this one.

  4. We are actively promoting a link to this interesting topic on The Bob Dylan Project at:
    https://thebobdylanproject.com/Song/id/3083/Remember-Me-When-The-Candle-Lights-Are-Gleamin

    If you are interested, we are a portal to all the great information related to this topic.

    Join us inside Bob Dylan Music Box.

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