The tour of Europe: the songs Dylan might play. The final six.


The forthcoming tour of Europe: The songs Dylan might play:  This series looks at 23 songs Dylan could be induced to play, and the reasons why, with musical examples.

by mr tambourine

6. I’d Rather Press On

Exactly, another Lightfoot song. Why?

Lyrically, musically, this one sounds similar to something not only Dylan would sing, but
something that even the Grateful Dead could cover, even though they never did. And
besides, it sounds similar to Dylan’s very own song by the name of “Pressing On”. Dylan
loves to do this kind of song, especially if they sound similar to another song, especially if
it’s a similar title to his own song in a way. Or something along those lines.

Just like he sang in Japan “Only A River” where there are words from the song “Shenandoah”, while Dylan never actually sang “Shenandoah” live in concert. Or the fact that he was performing a standard “I’m A Fool To Want You” instead of “I Want You”.
It’s classic Bob in a way.

5. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

That which I wrote about Queen Jane Approximately and the Wicked Messenger can be
applied here as well.  The only difference is, compared to the other two which were last played live in 2013 and 2009, respectively, this one was performed more recently in 2019; not too far back.

And it’s also another song that the Grateful Dead performed multiple times in concert.

4. Rainy Day People

Yes, yet another Lightfoot song. This one is special in a way, because it’s the last song
Lightfoot has ever performed in concert. Yes, the last song on the very last concert of his life.   And it’s kind of a fitting song to close with.

Not only does this one have a similar title to “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”, but I believe it’s a very suitable song for Bob, lyrically, musically and the band could deliver the solo parts quite well along with Bob who could perfectly pound the piano keys along.

And I can definitely say that this song has a feel that much modern music can’t capture nowadays, along with the current performers out there. The innocence it possesses is rare in today’s world. Which I think would be easy work for Bob to deliver it and showcase the very humanity it possesses within itself. What a tribute that would be.

3. Sierra’s Theme

Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Could Bob’s current band perform this closing instrumental of Shadow Kingdom in concert, and which part of the show would it fit?

Would it be a good opening instrumental or could it be performed somewhere in between
songs, or simply be a closing instrumental just like in Shadow Kingdom?  Can it fit the show’s program and how?

2. Early Mornin’ Rain

A Lightfoot song Dylan has covered many times over, one time for his Self Portrait album,
and he’s played it live in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

The Grateful Dead have covered this song as well, when they were still called the Warlocks,
and it was also covered by Dylan’s hero Elvis Presley, making it one of the easier choices.

1. Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues

Now this one fits many of the categories that I have mentioned so far.  It’s not only getting released as a part of Shadow Kingdom on June 2 when the tour began, but it’s a song covered by both Lightfoot and the Grateful Dead, among many others.

It’s also a song that was last done live not too long ago, in 2019, as a closing instrumental on many European shows.

The last singing live version however was in 2014, also in Europe.  In fact, the last 10 singing versions live of the song, 9 of those 10 times the song were performed in Europe. The last time it was performed outside of Europe was in 2012.

If there ever was a script being set up for a song that was destined to return to the set, this
one has so many things in its favor and so many reasons for return.

It’s also hard to believe that since 2021 no songs from Highway 61 Revisited have been
performed, what many consider for him to be his best work in his illustrious career.

Honourable mentions

I guess we have to mention a few other songs from Shadow Kingdom which are yet to be
played live in recent years, most notably I would say particularly Tombstone Blues and What Was It You Wanted, which have suitable arrangements to the rest of the set, with the vibes of Black Rider and maybe even My Own Version of You.

Apart from that, it’s hard to think of a song from such a massive catalogue that would fit the sound of the current shows which sound so unique and rely on such tiny details that can be hard to understand fully at times. So much is thought out carefully, the lyrics and the musical nuances, and it’s become one way a constant process, but also a very steady routine, and very few things are allowed to interrupt or interfere with the routine.

One song, however, from Dylan’s catalogue, I think would fit the overall atmosphere of the
set and of the band. And it’s difficult for any song to fit this vibe and this approach that has
been established.

That song is My Back Pages. From its title, to its lyrics, to its possible musical arrangement, this song might be the only one that could work with the rest of the set. It’s “just right” for this set of songs and this band.

These lyrics just have a Rough and Rowdy Ways album feel to them. It’s like I Contain
Multitudes written in 1964 by Bob Dylan.

The song was last played in 2012, so it hasn’t gotten a chance to be played around with
Dylan’s brand new face discovered somewhere around 2013/14 and perfected nowadays.The fact that it comes from an album “Another Side of Bob Dylan” adds to the multitudes he’s talking about.   Not sure if Bob sees it the same way, but I sure hope he does.

The colourful imagery of the lyrics suits the rest of the images planted in our mind throughout the other songs across the shows.   The language being used is very philosophical and inspiring, especially for the times we live in. And it’ll be great to hear Dylan sing “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now” one more time.

One comment

  1. Hello Mr. Tambourine
    You have been pretty good in predicting what kind of songs Bob might sing and I have a feeling that some of the songs on your list will turn up during his European tour. If I had to put my money on it I would bet on Big River and What Was It You Wanted. I would also love to hear Ring Them Bells and My Back Pages. Well I guess we’ll have to wait and see (hear) what Bob is actually going to do. But thank you just the same for very entertaining articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *