Category Archives: Bob Dylan – The songs he didn’t write

Bob Dylan: Trail of The Buffalo (traditional)

bob dylan woody guthrie

Come round you old time cowboys, and listen to my song
Please do not grow weary, I will not detain you long
Concerning some young cowboy, who did agree to go
Spend the summer pleasantly on the trail of the buffalo

Well I wrote that song to the tune of Buffalo Skinner. An old cowboy song.
~Bob Dylan about “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” (to Ray Coleman, May 1965)

From Wikipedia:

“The Buffalo Skinners”
The Hills of Mexico, “On the Trail of the Buffalo”
Music by traditional
Language English

“The Buffalo Skinners” (“The Hills of Mexico”) is a traditional American folk song. It tells the story of an 1873 buffalo hunt on the southern plains. According to Fannie Eckstorm, 1873 is correct, as the year that professional buffalo hunters from Dodge City first entered the northern part of the Texas panhandle. It is thought to be based on the song Canaday-I-O.

According to extensive research carried out by Jürgen Kloss in 2010-2012, this song is one of the many variants of John B Freeman’s ‘Buffalo Song’ .

buffalo skiners
Continue reading Bob Dylan: Trail of The Buffalo (traditional)

The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan and Clydie King sings Abraham, Martin and John





Abraham, Martin and John is a 1968 song written by Dick Holler and first recorded by Dion. It is a tribute to the memory of four assassinated Americans, all icons of social change, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. It was written in response to the assassination of King and that of Robert Kennedy in April and June 1968, respectively.

It has been covered by many artists, among them are Patti Labelle, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye and Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan did the song live in 1980 and 1981, here is a great clip, with Clydie king, from the DVD/film, Trouble no more: A musical film:
Continue reading The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan and Clydie King sings Abraham, Martin and John

August 27: Bob Dylan – Old Five And Dimers (Like Me) (Billy Joe Shaver)





«..I’ve lost part of three fingers, broke my back, suffered a heart attack and a quadruple bypass, had a steel plate put in my neck and 136 stiches in my head, fought drugs and booze, spent the money I had, and burried my wife, son & mother in the span of one year…. I’m not proud of my misfortune – I’m proud of my survival»
~Billy Joe Shaver

“I’ve always been real blunt. Most people from Texas are that way. And it seems like all the great writers, they’re not afraid to say anything. I’ve always been pretty blunt, and sometimes it seems, brutally honest, but it’s real close to the bone.”
~Billy Joe Shaver

Bob Dylan has never played this song in concert, or released it. All we got are the 3 takes from the circulating “Hearts of Fire outtakes”. The solo version is absolutely incredible.

Townhouse Studio
London, England
27 & 28 August 1986
Hearts Of Fire recording session, produced by Beau Hill

Continue reading August 27: Bob Dylan – Old Five And Dimers (Like Me) (Billy Joe Shaver)

July 8: Bob Dylan Plays “Hallelujah” (L.Cohen) in Montréal, Canada 1988 (audio)





Bob Dylan first performed Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ on July 8, 1988 at the Forum de
Montréal in Canada. Montréal is Cohen’s home town and it is possible that he attended the show.
Dylan’s second and final performance, on his “Interstate 88” tour, was on August 4, 1988, at the
final night of a three show residency at the Greek Theatre, Hollywood.

Dylan and Leonard Cohen first met sometime in the late ’60s and have remained friends ever
since, meeting whenever the opportunity arises. One such occasion was after a concert in Paris,
probably Dylan’s October 7, 1987 show at P.O.P.B. Bercy. The two songwriters spent some
considerable time talking shop, over coffee, in a café somewhere in the 14th Arrondissment of
Paris. Dylan told Cohen that he especially liked the ending to his then new song ‘Hallelujah’.
“And even though it all went wrong / I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on
my tongue but hallelujah!”

~Derek Barker (The Songs He didn’t write)

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Continue reading July 8: Bob Dylan Plays “Hallelujah” (L.Cohen) in Montréal, Canada 1988 (audio)

The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan In My Time of Dying





“The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing, thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness”
– Psalms 41:3

In My Time of Dying (also called Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed or variations on this) is a traditional gospel music song that has been recorded by numerous musicians. Bob Dylan recorded it for his debut album as In My Time Of Dyin’.

It was (as most of the songs on the album) cut in one take.

” I can’t see myself singing the same song twice in a row. That’s terrible.”
– Bob Dylan

“Dylan had never sung ‘In My Time of Dyin’ ‘ prior to this recording session. He does not recall where he first heard it. The guitar is fretted with the lipstick holder [ makeshift slide ] he borrowed from his girl, Suze Rotolo, who sat devotedly and wide-eyed through the recording session.”
– Liner Notes, Bob Dylan (album, 1962)

Continue reading The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan In My Time of Dying