A Dylan Cover a Day: Please Mrs Henry

by Tony Attwood

OK, so I am getting old, but looking at the title “Please Mrs Henry” it took me a few moments to recall how the song went.   I did get there, but it shows that as a Dylan composition, its impact on me hasn’t been that great.

And I was honestly surprised to be reminded that anyone had bothered to do a cover version: after all it is not a particularly inspiring song – at least not to me.  And that despite the fact that we have covered the piece before on Untold Dylan.  Obviously, my memory is fading.

But Jochen did find matters of interest therein in his review and suitably gave me a wrap over the knuckles noting a  “disgruntled Tony Attwood hears ‘quite a bit we don’t need to know’ and dismisses the song with some disdain.”  So that’s me put in my place.

Jochen found several covers that he took to be of interest – and there being a shortage of covers I found the same collection, and a few more.  Go to Jochen’s review for a different opinion.

“Marquee Mark” was the Crust Brothers only album I think, and it is not for me, primarily because it is not my type of music.  Quite simply it simply doesn’t do anything for me.  Maybe it does for you, in which case maybe you’ll enjoy that version above.

Cheap Trick does give us an entertaining opening which is taken at a speed that allows the music to make its mark, but once again musically I am a bit lost – which undoubtedly is a reflection of my age.   As above, I wouldn’t really want to play this twice.

Manfred Mann treat the song as a piece of music more than a set of sounds, which is how I hear the first two versions above.  And the chorus does come across as a chorus, distinguished from the verses, and that is, I guess, helpful.  As a result, I am inclined to focus more on the lyrics, although I am not sure they tell me too much.

Yes, “down on my knees I ain’t got a dime” is a good line, and they do give it some focus with an interesting backing, especially just after the two-minute mark.   Although I am not sure if this number of repeats to fade is quite worth it.

Trials and Tribulations also recorded (if I remember aright) “Open the Door Homer” and I’d say they made a decent fist of not very much material, giving us a pleasant rendition of the repeated rhyme, which fits in with but contrasts with the verse.    Given what I feel is the paucity of the original material, it’s a really good effort.

Just saying the lyrics is ok given the variation of the backing instrumentation, but I think by this stage I’ve listened to what I still find are uninspiring lyrics too often to find much of great interest in the song.   The instrumental verse sounds like it was going somewhere but then retreats into things we’ve heard before.

Nope, I have really tried take note of Jochen’s comments from four years ago, but I still can’t get anything out of this song.  Sorry – I hope you fare better.

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