By Tony Attwood
To me, Dylan’s performance of “It Ain’t Me Babe” is angry, but it is also possible to perform it plaintively and with a deep regret that is not in Dylan’s original. And rarely does a performer get this more than Sandra McCracken.
The simplicity of the guitar accompaniment and the elegance of the harmonies make this an exquisite piece of writing.
And just in case you don’t know this lady’s work (and she is prolific) try this as another example of just how she can get inside a song and fine where it starts and where it goes.
And for my other choice I am going to cheat and quote an earlier article by Jochen, as he put across the point better than I can.
Here’s what he said…
Quite indestructible, the combination of these lyrics with this magnetic melody. Thus, almost all covers are fun, at the very least – you have to dress it up very, very corny to compromise the power of the song. The downside is: it is apparently difficult to add something. All those nice covers are actually quite interchangeable. Only radically different arrangements stand out. Not necessarily better than the original, but some of them do surprise, at any rate.
At the top of that category: the old-fashioned, glowing soul approach by Bedford Incident, a completely unknown band with a completely unknown single from May 1969 – with a magnificent harmony-intermezzo and an overflowing, irresistible arrangement. Horns, violins, four male vocalists and a complete band – fortunately, Bedford Incident completely fails in Henry Miller’s function-requirement to inoculate the world with disillusionment. Although… Bedford Incident’s single never got any further than “Best Leftfield Pick” on Radio KIBH in the remote village of Sewald, Alaska, August 1969.
Which, with all due respect for Sewald and Radio KIBH, is a bit of a disillusionment, obviously.
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
- 58: If not for you, and a rant against prosody
- 59: A Dylan cover a Day: If you Gotta Go, please go and do something different
- 60: If you see her say hello
- 61: Dylan cover a day: I’ll be your baby tonight
- 62: I’m not there.
- 63: In the Summertime, Is your love and an amazing Isis
- 64: It ain’t me babe