Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Wednesday’s Choice

Number 3 in Rock(Folk/Pop) is Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin’.

Here’s a song:  http://tinyurl.com/agvcbx3

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11 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Choice

  1. An excellent choice. A great song, and really timeless.
    Speaking of which, I don’t know if you’ve heard Dylan’s version of this song from MTV Unplugged special in the mid-1990s, but I think you’d find it interesting. I know that you prefer the fresh & earnest Dylan to the leathery croaker that is is current incarnation. But what I think is really interesting about this performance is that it seems wholly age-appropriate. What I mean is that even though Dylan was a kid when he wrote that song and the dude on MTV singing it is in his 60s, it seems like a 60 year old’s song (which is in itself remarkable, as the song is so much one of youth). On the album he performs several of his pre-electric songs, and he manages to make them relevant, and not embarrassing in the way as would, say, the Stones performing “Brown Sugar” today.

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    • Have you had a listen? I think you’re probably thinking of Girl from the North Country (easy to confuse them) as far as I know he’s only sung North Country Blues twice. The song I picked for today is not so well known although it should be.

      As for Girl from the North Country – a great song. I even liked his rendition with Johnny Cash on Nashville Skyline.

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      • I did get mixed up, but not quite in the way you’re thinking. In reading this from my email I didn’t see the link, and assumed you were referring not to a track ON the album “The Times They Are A’Changing” but rather the eponymous track. Which explains why I sent a performance of “The Times They Are A’Changing.”

        I know NCB from the aforementioned album, but it’s not a song I’ve listened to very much. I did click on the link (not originally, as you know, having previously explained my confusion with modern society’s space-age technology), and am better for the reacquaintance with it.
        Having said that, now go back and reread my original comments regarding the song TTTAAC in both its original and leather versions. I really do find the two takes on this quintessential Dylan song to be quite interesting, and even a little moving.

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  2. I tried to have a listen but to no avail – copyright infringement…

    I heard the MTV Unplugged years ago and think I liked it but not remembering what was on it, I just had a look. You must have thought the link was to the title track, which in itself is a great song. In fact, it’s an album of great song after great song.

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    • That’s it! Wish I’d read this a few moments ago. That’s kinda the story of my life, though. Ah, well….

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      • I’d love to be able to listen to the two versions as you suggest but finding Dylan tracks on You Tube is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The first track that I had from Blonde on Blonde doesn’t work any longer.

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    • And it is a really good album. I’m always forgetting some of the great ones on there. There’s one I quite like based on an old Irish (I think it is, although I don’t know for sure) folk song. I think that’s “Restless Farewell.”

      Too bad you can’t see the video, but anyway, I thought it was more something you would find interesting than really enjoy. I really like that album (although, in full disclosure, you know I like the Dylan of that era), because as I mentioned earlier, all of the songs, including: John Brown, All Along the Watchtower, Tombstone Blues don’t sound to me like old standards, the sound fresh and believable. What sounded angry in the early 1960s sounds a little wistful or maybe even melancholy in the mid 1990s.
      A couple notes on the songs: I really like the version of “With God on Our Side,” and that’s definitely an example of piss & vinegar giving over to rust. He leaves out the line about the Holocaust, which I always thought was both clumsy (and here I’m well aware of the precarious relation of my kettle to his black pot) tasteless–“in ovens they fried.”
      “Desolation Row” is a highlight of the performance for me. He leaves out a number of verses, but it’s a tighter song for it.
      And I think it’s got Rainy Day women which is, perhaps ironically, one of my least-favorite Dylan songs. When I hear it I want to say, “Yeah, dude–we get it. That’s clever.”

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      • There’s also The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll and One Too Many Mornings. On each Dylan album there’s always at least one song that doesn’t do anything for me and on this it’s the Ballad of Hollis Brown. Maybe just too depressing though North Country Blues isn’t something I want to sing and rejoice to.

        Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 never did much for me. You hear it once – okay, but repeated listenings?

        Desolation Row, however…Now there’s a song that had a ten-year-old boy’s imagination going and now four decades later, it still does.

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  3. Girl from the North Country with Johnny Cash:

    http://tinyurl.com/bc9jsx4

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    • That’s another great song, and the only song I really remember off that album (except for “Lay Lady Lay” which competes with Rainy Day Women for its place in my affections), but I remember that it’s got a bunch of good tunes, and that the liner notes, written by Mr. Cash as I recall, are pretty cool too.

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