A Dylan cover a day: I contain multitudes

By Tony Attwood

I’ve had a little pause in the Dylan cover a day series (there’s a full list of the 47 songs covered below) but have now gathered enough strength to carry on… and what better cover song to offer than “I contain multitudes by Emma Swift

Quite why so much of the double album has been ignored by cover artists I am not sure – but thankfully we have this most beautiful rendition.

What can one say about this?  The accompaniment is perfection, the voice is utterly beautiful, and for me (even if no one else) the lyrics take on a new and higher meaning than they achieve in Bob’s own version.   If I gave out awards this track would get multiples of the things.

On the Cover me songs site Emma is quoted as saying, “Like many of the great Bob Dylan songs, ‘I Contain Multitudes’ is a magnet, a fly’s eye view of the cultural wilderness in which we wander. It’s magnificent and heartbreaking, a love letter to words and art and music, to all that has been lost and all that might be redeemed. To me this song has become an obsession, a mantra, a prayer. I can’t hope to eclipse it, all I hope to do is allow more people to hear it, to feel comforted by it, and to love it the way I do.”

Just listen.  It is beautiful.


A list of previous songs reviewed is given below.

Untold Dylan was created in 2008 and is currently published 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.

Articles are written by a variety of volunteers and you can read more about them here    If you would like to write for Untold Dylan, do email with your idea or article to Tony@schools.co.uk.  Our readership is rather large (many thanks to Rolling Stone for help in that regard). Details of some of our past articles are also included on the home page.

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One comment

  1. Emma Swift’s ‘Blonde on the tracks’ is excellent. If it wasn’t for Thea Gilmore, she’d be my favourite Dylan cover repeat offender. This is just lovely. And it’s great to see R&R ways generating covers – hopefully the Cowboy Junkies aren’t far away in this series.

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