Bob Dylan’s best songs: “When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky” #113

Bob Dylan Bootleg_series_1-3

Composing it [When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky], yeah. Um… you know, it was bits and pieces of different places that went into writing that. Lines overheard here and there, you know, strung together over a long period of time, resulted in that particular piece.
~Bob Dylan (to Eliot Mintz – March 1991)

…Dylan sings wonderfully. The songs seems capable of kicking itself into even-higher gear, and as the band recognizes it, so does Dylan, who gets audibly more and more excited as the song progresses
~John Bauldie (about the TBS 1-3 version)

Bob Dylan

@ #113 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.. and this is the “Bootleg Series 1-3” version…. the Empire Burlesque version is nowhere near my top 200…

This version was recorded @ Studio A, The Power Station, New York City, New York – 19 February 1985.

The band included 2 “E-streeter’s”: Roy Bittan & Little “Stevie” Van Zandt..




  • Bob Dylan (guitar, vocal)
  • Roy Bittan (piano)
  • Robbie Shakespeare (bass)
  • Sly Dunbar (drums)
  • Queen Ester Marrow, Debra Byrd, Carolyn Dennis (backing vocals).
  • Steve van Zandt (guitar)

bob dylan 1985

Beginning on low simmer, Dylan doesn’t start cooking until the band join in – on ‘I can see through your walls…’ However, once he sits full square on the hot-plate, he bellows like a wild wolf.
~Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road)


If you look out across the fields, see me returning.
Smoke is in your eyes, you draw a smile.
From the fireplace where now my letters to you are burning,
You’ve had time to think about it for a while.

I’ve walked two hundred miles, now look me over.
It’s the end of the chase and the moon is high.
It don’t matter who loves who.
Either you’ll love me or I’ll love you
When the night comes falling from the sky.

I can see through your walls and I know you’re hurting.
Sorrow covers you up like a cape.
Only yesterday I know that you’ve been flirting
With disaster that you somehow managed to escape.

Well, I can’t provide for you no easy answers.
Who are you that I should have to lie?
You know everything, my love.
Down below and up above.
When the night comes falling from the sky.

I can hear your trembling heart beat like a river.
And recently you thought you’d seen it all.
But you’re disappointed now in those who did not deliver.
But it was you who set yourself up for a fall.

I’ve seen thousands who could have overcome the darkness,
For the love of a lousy buck, I’ve watched them die.
Stick around, baby, we’re not through,
Don’t look for me, I’ll see you.
When the night comes falling from the sky.

In your teardrops, I can see my own reflection.
Luck was with me when I crossed the borderline.
I don’t want to be a fool that’s starving for affection.
I don’t want to drown in someone else’s wine.

For all eternity I think I will remember
That whirlpool of light that’s in your eye.
You will seek me and you’ll find
Me in the wasteland of your mind.
When the night comes falling from the sky.

Well, I gave to you my heart like buried treasure
But suffering seems to fit you like a glove
I’m so tired of those who use for their own pleasure
Who think they’ve got a monopoly on love

Well, this time I’m asking for freedom,
Freedom from a world which you deny.
And you’ll give it to me now,
I’ll take it anyhow.
When the night comes falling from the sky.

Some live versions:

Entertainment Centre – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia – 24 February 1986

Rich Stadium – Buffalo, New York – 4 July 1986

Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York – 17 July 1986

Check out:  Bob Dylan’s 200 best songs

Check Out: Bob Dylan recording sessions



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