By Tony Attwood
“Why Do I Have to Choose” was written and recorded by Willie Nelson, released in May 1983 as a single taken from the album “Take it to the limit”. It got to number 3 on the Billboard country singles charts.
Here are the lyrics…
Why do I have to choose to see everybody lose To walk around and sing the blues well darling I refuse Love is hard to find love of any kind And a love like yours and mine creates it's own design Why do I have to choose to see everybody lose To walk around and sing the blues well darling I refuse And when I think of her and then I think of you The love is not the same but either love is true Why do I have to choose to see everybody lose To walk around and sing the blues well darling I refuse
And here is the original – but if you don’t like this, please don’t give up because what Bob did to this song is something quite different.
Just over one year later, in 1984 Bob Dylan played this song eight songs. And you might be a little surprised as to what he did with this gentle ballad. This version comes from the 1984 tour.
And just to show us it wasn’t a one off, Bob kept on varying the song – but I am not sure where this version comes from.
So why did Bob like it? Basically because it is a song he can vary and which has a really great catchy line – it just lends itself to becoming something quite different from the original.
I think quite simply Bob heard it, realised it could have come out a very different way, and just re-wrote it.
And I’m rather glad he did.