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)
They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark
She looked at him and he felt a spark tingle to his bones
’Twas then he felt alone and wished that he’d gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate
They walked along by the old canal
A little confused, I remember well
And stopped into a strange hotel with a neon burnin’ bright
He felt the heat of the night hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate
“Simple Twist Of Fate” is among Dylan’s finest songs and there many fantastic live versions available.
Here are 15.
First ever live performance @ WTTW-TV Studios Chicago, Illinois 10 September 1975:
Down the street the dogs are barkin’
And the day is a-gettin’ dark
As the night comes in a-fallin’
The dogs’ll lose their bark
An’ the silent night will shatter
From the sounds inside my mind
For I’m one too many mornings
And a thousand miles behind