Dylan Released and Unreleased 4: from the nursery to looking back

by Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood

Aaron: I’m enjoying putting this series together. It’s fun presenting rare and one off tracks officially released on various albums for fans to enjoy.

This time let’s look at three more performances from some various artists’ releases and soundtracks.

First up is This Old Man from 1991’s Walt Disney Records For Our Children charity album

Tony: I’m not sure if I have heard this before; certainly I can’t recall hearing.   And I have to admit I was rather fearful of what was going to emerge.   But Bob does it perfectly, exactly as the children like it – with the certainty of what is coming next.   And the pictures that rotate with the song really are interesting – whoever put that collection together was having great fun.   Especially at the moment where we get the pope and two later the president.   Really enjoyable all round.

Aaron: From 1994’s Natural Born Killers soundtrack come “You Belong To Me”. For the actual CD someone made the boneheaded decision to add snippets of dialogue from the movie over the end of Bob’s song. I found a version online without the dialogue (I’m so used to hearing the CD version that it was a bit of a shock to hear without it!)

Tony: What a mellow feeling – and what a weird coincidence – which I am going to divert into (if you find this boring, just flip on – there is another song below).

See the market place in old Algiers
Send me photographs and souvenirs
Just remember when a dream appears
You belong to me

Not Dylan’s most memorable lines, but ones that have a certain resonance with me, because I lived in Algiers for a year in earlier times – much earlier times in fact.  And although it was a remarkable experience, it is not a time that I particularly think about or discuss with anyone – and I’m not sure it had a really deep impact on the way I developed.  Although being a member of a minority group (a European mistaken by one and all as a French guy in a country only recently having thrown off the yolk of “l’algérie c’est la France”) was at the time a really strange experience.

So suddenly I was jerked back to those much earlier days, and that was really strange.  And that’s the thing about Bob – he can take me to most unexpected places.

Aaron: Next, from the Feeling Minnesota soundtrack is Bob’s version of Ring Of Fire.

Tony:  Oh this is strange – I’m still sitting in a cafe in Algiers and suddenly we’re with Ring of Fire.   And strange because I had forgotten how much slower Bob performed this than on the famous Johnny Cash recording.

Indeed I’m finding it hard to adjust and think whether this really works, and whether I just like it because it is so different from the Cash version.   There is something very clever about playing it this slowly; it makes the falling into the ring of fire completely different – as I see it in my mind the fall into the ring of fire is slow, inevitable, but not frightening… something he is doing willingly; moving on to the new world

Whereas with the Cash version no images are created in my mind at all. It just is a song with a set of words with no hint of a literal meaning.

My apologies to fans of Mr Cash, but having heard Bob’s version, this famous version just sounds crass.  There’s no power in the lyrics at all.

Ah…. Bob at his most brilliant.   Thanks for this Aaron.   Yet again I owe you for another revelation.


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  1. No hint of literal meaning?

    You mean metaphorical??

    May be that Cash simply had lots and lots of bandages and a nurse on hand.

  2. Perhaps better said is that Cash’s singing Ring of Fire does not bring out the mood engenered by the Baroque conceits as well as Dylan does.

  3. My love is like to ice, and I to fire
    How come it then that this her cold so great
    Is not dissolved through my so hot desire
    (Edmund Spenser)

  4. “You Belong to Me” is not a Dylan song, but rather a Dylan cover. The song dates back to 1952 and was written by Chilton Price and also credited to Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart as recompense for their helping to promote it. Joni James was the first to record the song.

  5. Has anybody besides me written a Song for Bob? Mine is a consequence of Bob’s, Song for Woody. Dylan having been my “mentor” music hero since I was 13 in 1962 I felt he deserved some thanks for all the music he instilled in me and millions of others. I am no musician, just a song writer.

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