By Tony Attwood
A nice bouncy version from Barry Hay to begin which has a surprise sudden ending. I thought they’d keep it going longer!
And as the second example, something completely different – which I think shows the beauty of this song. It is very simple, and as such lends itself to be interpreted in many different way.
But I am really not at all sure about the sudden introduction of the timpani in the middle 8; it seems a bit too obvious in terms of “the sky would fall”, although the rest is beautifully re-imagined. After all the careful delicacy it sounds like one of those moments when the producer insists on having his say.
Indeed, why is it that otherwise fully competent arrangers and producers do suddenly feel the need for prosody – where the sound has to reflect the meaning of the words. It invariably sounds false to me, and indeed makes me think that either the arranger or producer had incredibly limited musical knowledge, or one or the other of them is treating the audience with utter contempt. We are all able to understand the meaning of the song without having a musical illustration to help us along. I do wish they’d stop doing it. Dylan never feels the need for it – so why do the re-interpreters?
What is needed is imagination. And just to show that even with very simple songs it is possible to go in all sorts of directions, this is Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience.
I’ll show my ignorance here by confessing I didn’t know what Zydeco meant – so I looked it up on Wiki. You probably knew this already but if not, here is their take…
“Zydeco is a music genre that evolved in southwest Louisiana by French Creole speakers which blends blues, rhythm and blues, and music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles and the Native American people of Louisiana.” There is plenty more here.
And finally this is the one that gave me the most enjoyment from a little bit of searching around for versions I’d not heard before. It is just so unpretentious, and even the sudden introduction of harmonies in the vocal works elegently.
Indeed now I come to think of it, elegance is the key to this song.
Here’s a list of most of the articles from this series…
- The song with numbers in the title.
- Ain’t Talkin
- All I really want to do
- Apple Suckling and Are you Ready.
- As I went out one morning
- Ballad for a Friend
- Ballad in Plain D
- Ballad of a thin man
- Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
- The ballad of Hollis Brown
- Beyond here lies nothing
- Blind Willie McTell
- Black Crow Blues (more fun than you might recall)
- An unexpected cover of “Black Diamond Bay”
- Blowin in the wind as never before
- Bob Dylan’s Dream
- You will not believe this… 115th Dream revisited
- Boots of Spanish leather
- Born in Time
- Buckets of Rain
- Can you please crawl out your window
- Can’t wait
- Changing of the Guard
- Chimes of Freedom
- Country Pie
- Crash on the Levee
- Dark Eyes
- Dear Landlord
- Desolation Row as never ever before (twice)
- Don’t fall apart on me tonight.
- Don’t think twice
- Down along the cove
- Drifter’s Escape
- Duquesne Whistle
- Farewell Angelina
- Foot of Pride and Forever Young
- Fourth Time Around
- From a Buick 6
- Gates of Eden
- Gotta Serve Somebody
- Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall.
- 42 Heart of Mine
- 43: High Water
- 44: Highway 61.5
- 45: Hurricane
- 46: I am a lonesome hobo
- 47: I believe in you
- 48: I contain multitudes
- 49: I don’t believe you.
- 50: I love you too much
- 51: I pity the poor immigrent.
- 52: I shall be released
- 53: I threw it all away
- 54: I want you
- 55: I was young when I left home
- 56: I’ll remember you
- 57: Idiot Wind and More idiot wind