Dylan cover of the day, No 21: Buckets of Rain

There’s a list of the covers so far dealt with in the series, at the end of this article.

The next song that turned up a cover in my alphabetical search is “Brownsville Girl” but I only know of one cover and I really don’t care for it, so I’m missing that out (you can of course go for a search yourself if you’ve nothing else to do) and instead next is “Buckets of Rain” of which there are multiple covers.

I’ve written before about the need to find something new to say in relation to the song, while keeping some sort of reference to the original.  Sometimes the newness dominates sometimes the reference to the original is there with just a touch of variance.  Like meeting an old friend who has a new haircut, but of course still the same friend beneath.

That’s what I find with Francesco Garolfi of whom I know nothing, except I do know enough art to know he’s not Francesco Gandolfi.  If you know something of the artist who made this delightful recording, do write in.  [Additional note added later: in fact Francesco Garolfi saw the piece and has subsequently dropped me a line personally.  I am utterly knocked out by that.]

Large numbers of musicians – all far more accomplished than I – have had a go with this song, but it seems to be incredibly difficult to retain the essence of the song and yet add meaningful and successful variations.

The Orton and Ward recording shows an utterly sublime understanding of the song by the two vocalists but the balance of the recording of the guitar damages the result.  But just to hear what can be done with the song by two singers who understand what it is about, it is worth hearing.

And curiously it is another live recording that I found approached some sort of understanding of what the song is all about.

How strange – how can something so difficult be so hard to take to perfection.  I suppose the issue is, do you feel this as a jolly little piece or something far deeper.  In many of the recordings that I have heard it seems as if the musicians haven’t actually read the lyrics

Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears...

I've seen pretty people disappear like smoke

I am not too sure about how the lyrics work in the Jimmy LaFave version, but at least I get the feeling that he has read the lyrics, and thought about them.

But Karen Almquist seems to understand, and has the talent to put that idea across.  It seems a good place to stop – when I listen to this I believe her, I feel like she has been there and knows what it means to be in love and know the pain when that love is not requited.

Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and ya do it well
I'll do it for you
Honey baby, can't you tell?

It took me a while, but I knew someone had to get it right, and finally, I got there. 

If you are particularly interested in covers, you’ll find an index of the covers used in the Dylavinci Code series thus far at the end of the latest article in that series.   And again at the end of the last edition of the Beautiful Obscurity series.  Not to mention 220 selected covers (gathered from suggestions from Untold Dylan readers).  With that lot, and the selection below, you’ll be here all night.  And tomorrow.

The series so far…


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One comment

  1. Danny Schmidt gives a good work over. Then, for a laugh, there is the “music hall” take by Bette Midler. At the end her back-up singer says “I should have given this song to Paul Simon”. Yep, it’s Bobby himself!

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