Bob Dylan And Patti Page Part 5 (and two fine Mississippis)

by Larry Fyffe

A sentimental and rapturous love song:
And in the centre just you and me dear
My heart beats like a hammer
My arms wound around you tight
And the stars fell on Alabama last night
(Patti Page: Stars Fell On Alabama ~ Parish/Perkins)

Below, with a line slightly reworked, the atmosphere turns dark:


Stars fell over Alabama, I saw each one
You're walking in a dream whoever you are
Chilled are the skies, keen as frost
The ground's frozen hard, and the morning is lost
(Bob Dylan: 'Cross The Green Mountain ~ 'Tell Tell Signs' rendition)

Beneath, we’re surrounded again by a vision of happiness:

All I do is dream of you
The whole night through
And with the dawn I still go on
And dream of you
You're every thought, you're every thing
You're every song I ever sing
(Patti Page: All I Do Is Dream Of You ~ Freed/Brown)

Downcast the mood once more:

From a cheerless room
In a curtain gloom
I saw a star from heaven fall
I turned and looked again, but it was gone
All I have, and all I know
Is this dream of you
(Bob Dylan: This Dream Of You)

Brightness returns:

Now we never will roam
From the streets of Laredo
Never want to lose the spell
For here we fell in love
(Patti Page: Streets Of Laredo ~ Evans/Livingston)

A sad song follows:

As I walk out in the streets of Laredo
I walk out in Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy all wrapped in white linen
Wrapped in white linen, and as cold as the clay
(Joan Baez: The Streets Of Laredo ~ traditional)

Likewise, sad be the lyrics beneath with a line borrowed from above:

Now the emptiness is endless, as cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can't come back 
all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long
(Bob Dylan: Mississippi)

PS from Tony: please leave the video running; there’s a second fine version of Mississippi in the video that follows.


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  1. Just to note that “Stars Fell on Alabama” was an old standard by the time Patti Page recorded it. I wouldn’t assume that Dylan associated it with her, though I guess he could have. I’ve always wondered if he was thinking of the Alabama license plates, which used to feature that phrase. That might actually be possible. It began appearing on the plates at the beginning of 2002, he toured the South in February of that year, including a date in Birmingham, Alabama, and he recorded “‘Cross the Green Mountain” in July. It’s easy to imagine him seeing the license plates, remembering the old song, and using the line in his own song. Just speculation, of course.

  2. Assuming? Possible? ….
    The song goes way back before 2002….to the 1930’s, I believe … covered since then by Frank Sinatre and many other well-knowns (including Patti Page).

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