Untold Dylan

Dylan Cover of the Day 25: Chimes of Freedom

By Tony Attwood

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Now, when I started this little series of Dylan Covers this is what I was thinking of.   This song, and the first track below and thinking there must be more utter gems like this floating around.   Indeed I imagined discovering cover after cover as amazing and illuminating as this.

Of course, it hasn’t quite worked out like that, but even so, it has been worth the journey just to get here.

Just listen and enjoy

The rhythms are so intriguing, and there is the movement of the language for the title, always sung in harmony.   And the accordion that comes in between the verses.  Plus so many other elements of the music floating in and floating out.   This is a masterpiece; don’t you dare turn it off until it finishes.

Actually, I played a few other non-English language versions just to see if there was something in the song that made it sound exquisite in a foreign tongue, but no, that’s no the point (nor was it ever likely to be).

But try this

Now that is what I call musical imagination.  OK this jazz style may not be your thing, but the invention, exploration and desire to express the song differently shine through for me.

And finally, an example of what a couple of chord changes and a chorus of voices can do – combined with a real feeling that these people really, really do want to perform this song.  I love this version and keep coming back to it.

Starry-eyed an’ laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look
Spellbound an’ swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an’ worse
An’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Oh how I love this song and have always loved it from the day I first heard it and how I have hung onto those last two lines through the days that were somewhat darker than I wanted them to be.

And three superb cover versions to give me another reason to play the song over and over again.  Not that I haven’t been doing that since it was first released.  I really do hope you have time to listen.


Untold Dylan was created in 2008 and is published daily – currently twice a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.  Details of some of our series are given at the top of the page and in the Recent Posts list, which appears both on the right side of the page and at the very foot of the page (helpful if you are reading on a phone).  Some of our past articles which form part of a series are also included on the home page.

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One comment

  1. Why is it that it seems all covers of this one seem to follow The Byrds? I like the way Bruce Springsteen sings “Starry-eyed and laughing “!

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