May 11: Bob Dylan recorded “Lonesome Day Blues” in 2001





bob dylan love & theft

May 11: Bob Dylan’s best songs: “Lonesome Day Blues” recorded in 2001

I overwrite. If I know I am going in to record a song, I write more than I need. In the past that’s been a problem because I failed to use discretion at times. I have to guard against that. On this album, “Lonesome Day Blues” was twice as long at one point.
~Bob Dylan (Robert Hilburn – Sept 2001)

bob dylan 2001

@ #152 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.. comes this hard, tough & tight electric blues.

The master version (Love and Theft version) was recorded @ Sony Music Studios – New York City – May 11, 2001 (according to Clinton Heylin –  Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1974-2006).
Few session details are available.

 …Dylan growls like a bear cat that hasn’t eaten since the Eighties
~Rob Sheffield (Rollingstone.com)

bob dylan love theftL&T version:

Spotify:

Musicians:

  • Bob Dylan (Guitar & vocal)
  • Charlie Sexton (guitar)
  • Larry Campbell (guitar)
  • Augie Meyers (keyboards & accordion)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • David Kemper (drums & percussion)

Lyrics

Well, today has been a sad ol’ lonesome day
Yeah, today has been a sad ol’ lonesome day
I’m just sittin’ here thinking
With my mind a million miles away

Well, they’re doing the double shuffle, throwin’ sand on the floor
They’re doing the double shuffle, they’re throwin’ sand on the floor
When I left my long-time darlin’
She was standing in the door

Well, my pa he died and left me, my brother got killed in the war
Well, my pa he died and left me, my brother got killed in the war
My sister, she ran off and got married
Never was heard of any more

Samantha Brown lived in my house for about four or five months
Samantha Brown lived in my house for about four or five months
Don’t know how it looked to other people
I never slept with her even once

Well, the road’s washed out—weather not fit for man or beast
Yeah the road’s washed out—weather not fit for man or beast
Funny, how the things you have the hardest time parting with
Are the things you need the least

I’m forty miles from the mill—I’m droppin’ it into overdrive
I’m forty miles from the mill—I’m droppin’ it into overdrive
Settin’ my dial on the radio
I wish my mother was still alive

I see your lover-man comin’—comin’ ’cross the barren field
I see your lover-man comin’—comin’ ’cross the barren field
He’s not a gentleman at all—he’s rotten to the core
He’s a coward and he steals

Well my captain he’s decorated—he’s well schooled and he’s skilled
My captain, he’s decorated—he’s well schooled and he’s skilled
He’s not sentimental—don’t bother him at all
How many of his pals have been killed

Last night the wind was whisperin’, I was trying to make out what it was
Last night the wind was whisperin’ somethin’—I was trying to make out what it was
I tell myself something’s comin’
But it never does

I’m gonna spare the defeated—I’m gonna speak to the crowd
I’m gonna spare the defeated, boys, I’m going to speak to the crowd
I am goin’ to teach peace to the conquered
I’m gonna tame the proud

Well the leaves are rustlin’ in the wood—things are fallin’ off of the shelf
Leaves are rustlin’ in the wood—things are fallin’ off the shelf
You gonna need my help, sweetheart
You can’t make love all by yourself

bob dylan 2001-1

With ‘Lonesome day Blues”, Dylan made a concrete attempt to use the blues to tell some immortal story with what, to his mind, were archetypal figures (the solider, the captain, the lover man, ‘the longtime darling’). The musical structure alone ensured he would fail – a basic twelve-bar blues was simply not designed to tell an eleven-verse narrative, especially when the whole production forced one to focus on that now-failing voice.
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1974-2006)




Live, Madison Square Garden Arena , Nov 19 2001

Live, February 1, 2002, Sunrise, FL (Bootleg Series 8):

Brighton Centre
Brighton, England
4 May 2002

Live, Gothenburg 2014-07-15

Check out:  Bob Dylan’s 200 best songs

-Egil

4 thoughts on “May 11: Bob Dylan recorded “Lonesome Day Blues” in 2001”

  1. Sure as hell don’t think L&T is overrated, just maybe a little too diverse for some. Me for instance I could have dispensed with some of the pure blues based songs (on Modern Times this even gets to be a little problem, even if some songs are more classic), yet I like them all and they prevent the album from running out of steam, also, I disagree with Clinton, the production rightfully focusses on the great voice that for instance rips through this song, which is maybe a little too long but still has some great lines. L&T is his Bringing it all Back Home without the real great anthems, even though the writing is delicious. I feel the spirit of Charlie Chaplin all over the record.

  2. Love this track. I think Love and Theft is a little overrated but there are about 4 songs on there that I think are fantastic and this is one of them.

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