(In the Jingle Jangle Morning) 10 Best Bob Dylan Songs

This week…
Some good old-fashioned mix-tape fun. No thrills (on my part, at least) – just a simple, daily celebration of especially excellent music-making.

Shits and giggles. And because “because because because”
(The Wizard Of Oz, 1939).

10 songs each, that’s all.

[ Honestly, I don’t really only listen to old/dead white guys… ]


Ah, Bobby Dylan… where do you even start?! Me, I like that he seems to know what I’m thinking even before I know I’m thinking it. And how he can sound essential, like Moses, one second, and all charming and frivolous the next. Seemingly, there’s no kind of mood that you can’t find a Dylan song to fit – no matter whether you want it amplified or altered, roughed up or cosseted. One more thing, too. I love the idea of him being the greatest living user of the English language… True or not, he sure rings every last little drop out of it, doesn’t he?

Here’s my Dylan 10 – this time round, together with some wholesale lyric quoting. Because, you know, why not?

Side A:

Tangled Up In Blue – The storytelling equivalent of a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo.

Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the fifteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you.

Love Minus Zero/No Limit – ‘I don’t know where, but she sends me there’ (Bob Dylan style).

In the dime stores and bus stations
People talk of situations
Read books, repeat quotations
Draw conclusions on the wall
Some speak of the future
My love she speaks softly
She knows there’s no success like failure
And that failure’s no success at all

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Has the ‘zeitgeist’ ever been more decisively captured?

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

I Want You – The reason hopeless romantics can’t quite fall asleep every now and then.

The guilty undertaker sighs
The lonesome organ grinder cries
The silver saxophones say I should refuse you
The cracked bells and washed-out horns
Blow into my face with scorn
But it’s not that way
I wasn’t born to lose you

Desolation Row – Gives me the shivers something crazy.

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortune-telling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain

Side B:

Like A Rolling Stone – Getting your own back never sounded better.

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you ?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

Simple Twist Of Fate – Just so. In every possible way.

He woke up the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care pushed the window open wide
Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate.

One More Cup Of Coffee – From Desire, the best Dylan album that you possibly don’t own.

Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark.

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go.

Mississippi – For the ‘late-period’ vocals – could scare away a grizzly bear at ten paces.

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long.

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Because no one says ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ quite like Bobby Dylan does.

The vagabond who’s rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.


And finally, here’s our Bob proving he most definitely does have a wicked sense of humor.

(Tomorrow, a whole heaping load of BS…)


About newjonnytransit

Same as ever, only better.
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1 Response to (In the Jingle Jangle Morning) 10 Best Bob Dylan Songs

  1. Pingback: A Bob Dylan Mix Tape… | Robert Batley

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