A lot of the songs (on Time Out Of Mind) were written after the sun went down . . This one phrase was going through my head: ‘Work while the day lasts, because the night of death cometh when no man can work … It wouldn’t let me go. I was like, what does that phrase mean? … It was at the forefront of my mind for a long period of time, and I think a lot of that is instilled into this record
~Bob Dylan to Jon Pareles, 1997
‘ Not Dark Yet ‘ is many folks’ favourite song on Dylan’s 1997 album, and for sure it pushes all the right buttons: a gorgeous vocal, a brooding melody, the darkling worldview and that seemingly effortless way he captured the dusk in his veins.
~Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road)
My love she speaks like silence
Without ideals or violence
She doesn’t have to say she’s faithful
Yet she’s true, like ice, like fire
People carry roses
Make promises by the hours
My love she laughs like the flowers
Valentines can’t buy her
One of his sweetest love songs – apart from the brothel, death and Apocalypse references.
“My love she speaks like silence.” Tricky, but then she is quite a woman: true, morally elevated, yet winking and laughing like the flowers. The very scent of her swirls through this honeyed river of song, borne along on gentle tumbles and ripples of guitar. Frankly, we’re all enamoured … Until that bastard bridge at midnight trembles, the wind howls like a hammer, and she’s suddenly a raven at the window. So- what?- she’s death?With a broken wing too? Now we’re confused, now we’re in a bit of a pickle. Romance over? What happened? What does it mean? Sigh.
– MOJO Magzine – 100 Greatest Dylan Songs
163 times acoustic w/ band – top year 1994 (24 times)
119 times acoustic – top year – top year 1992 (48 times)
1 time as an instrumental – 1978
90 times w/band – top year 1978 (60 times)
First performance: Troy, New York – February 12 , 1965
Last played: Broomfield, Colorado – October 30, 2012
A worried man with a worried mind
No one in front of me and nothing behind
There’s a woman on my lap and she’s drinking champagne
Got white skin, got assassin’s eyes
I’m looking up into the sapphire-tinted skies
I’m well dressed, waiting on the last train
Lets just start with Dylan´s cool acceptance speech for Winning the “Original Song: 2001 Oscar”:
Bob Dylan scholars have determined that “To Ramona” is a song about Joan Baez; Dylan’s warning her that the folk protest movement will draw her in deep, but he recognizes that she doesn’t necessarily have a problem with that, and much as he loves and wants her, he has to let her think for herself, both for her sake and for his.
-Patrick Robbins (covermesongs.com)
Quite whom the singer is trying to mollify (and/or seduce) remains pure guesswork. One possibility must be Sara Lowndes, who became close to Dylan in the aftermath of his breakup with Suze. She could be said to have “cracked country lips,” being a Delaware girl, and her bronzed skin and dusky features may have suggested Spanish ances- try—and the Mediterranean goddess status the name “Ramona” implies.
– Clinton Heylin (Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973)
Whoever it might be, it´s a great song.
It´s been performed:
137 times acoustic w/ band – top year 2000 (33 times)
99 times acoustic – top year – top year 1986 (33 times)
1 time as an instrumental – Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – 20 March 1978
127 times w/band – top year 1978 (64 times)
First live performance:
Freebody Park, Newport, Rhode Island – 26 July 1964
Newport Folk Festival.
Last live performance:
Port Chester, New York, Capitol Theatre – June 14, 2017
Our conversation was short and sweet
It nearly swept me off-a my feet
And I’m back in the rain, oh, oh
And you are on dry land
You made it there somehow
You’re a big girl now
You’re Big Girl Now” is startling in the originality of its musical structure as well as in the raw power of Dylan’s lyrics and the way he sings them. Each verse of this song is a separate monolog, as if Dylan were an actor stepping to the back of the stage and then coming forward again as he thinks of something else he wants to say to the lady.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)
Another brilliant song from the album “Blood on the Tracks”.
First performed @ Reid Green Coliseum, Hattiesburg, Mississippi – 1 May 1976
It has been performed 218 times live – last performance: Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Illinois – 29 October 2007
Top year was 1978 with 41 performances
Not surprisingly, the song went unattempted live after he and Sara became ostensibly reconciled. Only on the second leg of the Rolling Thunder Revue, in the spring of 1976, did he remember why he wrote it, playing it long and hard enough to warrant inclusion on the Hard Rain album.
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, . 1974-2008)
New Orleans, Louisiana
3 May 1976 – Evening
Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal)
Scarlet Rivera (violin)
T-bone J. Henry Burnett (guitar & piano)
Steven Soles (guitar)
Mick Ronson (guitar)
Bobby Neuwirth (guitar & vocal)
Roger McGuinn (guitar & vocal)
David Mansfield (steel guitar, mandolin, violin & dobro)