Bob Dylan and Hank Snow (Part II)


You might also enjoy: Bob Dylan and Hank Snow: Little Buddy, Drunkard’s Son, Moving On.(Part 1)


By Larry Fyffe

The influence of Nova Scotian Hank Snow can be detected everywhere in the lyrics of singer/songwriter Bob Dylan:

Please meet me tonight in the moonlight
Please meet me tonight all alone
For I have a sad story to tell you
It’s a story that’s never been told
(Hank Snow: The Prisoner’s Song)

As in the following song lyrics:

The seasons they are turnin’
And my sad heart is yearnin’
To hear again the song bird’s melodious tone
Won’t you meet me in the moonlight alone?
(Bob Dylan: Moonlight)

Of questionable authorship (copyright-Guy Massey), ‘The Prisoner’s Song’ is very popular before Snow covers it; he first hears it on the radio when he’s working on a fishing schooner – the Nova Scotian entertains crew members by singing such songs, accompaning himself on harmonica:

Now, if I had the wings of an angel
Over these prison walls I would fly
And I’d fly to the arms of my poor darlin’
And there I’d be willin’ to die
(Hank Snow: The Prisoner’s Song)

Fellow Nova Scotian Wilf Carter, a trailblazer for Hank in the music entertainment business, records the song as well.

Released on ‘Great White Wonder’, TMQ bootleg (1969)’ is an earlier, but seemingly related traditional song:

If I had wings
Like Noah’s dove
I’d fly the river
To the one I love
Fare thee well, my honey
Fare thee well
(Bob Dylan: Dink’s Song)

Hank Snow makes the following song famous:

Pardon me, if I’m sentimental
When we say goodbye
Don’t be angry with me, should I cry
When you’re gone, yet I’ll dream
A little dream as years go by
Now and then there’s a fool such as I
(Hank Snow: A Fool Such As I ~ by William Trader)

When Bob Dylan switches record labels, Columbia releases his cover of the song:

Now and then there’s a fool such as I
Pardon me if I’m sentimental, came to say goodbye
Don’t be angry, don’t be angry with me, should I cry
When you are gone, I will dream a little dream as years go by
Now and then there’s a fool such as I
(Bob Dylan: A Fool Such As I)

Another Snow record of falling love:

The sweetest thing that ever came into my life was you
The only girl in this whole wide world that turned my grey skies blue
Your tender love like a velvet glove enclosed around my heart
Told me we’d still be lovers when this old world fell apart
But now it’s over, over nothin’
My heart just felt the final curtain fall
(Hank Snow: It’s Over, Over Nothin’ ~ by Jean and Seen)

Sentiments echoed with ironic humour by the boy from the North Country:

I’ve been sitting down studying the art of love
I think it will fit me like a glove
I want some real good woman to do just what I say
Everybody got to wonder what’s the matter with this cruel world today
(Bob Dylan: Thunder On The Mountain)

Further reading:

Thunder on the Mountain: it’s a cruel world in Bob Dylan’s song

Bob Dylan and Geoffrey Chaucer: thunder on the mountain

Bob Dylan’s Thunder on the Mountain: Heylin falls off a cliff, Bob keeps on keeping on

Dylan deconstructed: He’s inside out, upside down, right side up

Bob Dylan and Hank Snow: Little Buddy, Drunkard’s Son, Moving On. (Dylan and Hank Snow Part 1)

 

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1 Response to Bob Dylan and Hank Snow (Part II)

  1. Mike Cash says:

    Ninety Miles an Hour Down a Dead End Street was a number 2 hit for Hank Snow in 1963. Dylan, of course, recorded this for Down in the Groove.

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