Tag Archives: bob dylan best songs

Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Jokerman





Standing on the waters casting your bread
While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing
Distant ships sailing into the mist
You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

..or down in the Caribbean. Me and another guy have a boat down there. Jokerman kinda came to me in the islands. It’s very mystical. The shapes there, and shadows, seem to be so ancient. The song was sorta inspired by these spirits they call jumbis.–Bob Dylan (Kurt Loder Interview, New York City – March 1984

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Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Angelina





Well, it’s always been my nature to take chances
My right hand drawing back while my left hand advances
Where the current is strong and the monkey dances
To the tune of a concertina

…. there were some real songs on this album that we recorded, a couple of really long songs, like there was one I did – do you remember Visions Of Johanna?…. Well, there was one like that. I’d never done anything like it before. It’s got that same kind of thing to it. It seems to be very sensitive and gentle on one level, then on another level the lyrics aren’t sensitive and gentle at all. We left that off the album.
~Bob Dylan (to Neil Spencer – July 1981)

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Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Not Dark Yet





Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day
It’s too hot to sleep, time is running away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal
There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

Environment affects me a great deal, a lot of the songs were written after the sun went down. And I like storms, I like to stay up during a storm. I get very meditative sometimes, and this one phrase was going through my head: ‘Work while the day lasts, because the night of death cometh when no man can work. ‘ I don’t recall where I heard it. I like preaching, I hear a lot of preaching, and I probably just heard it somewhere. Maybe it’s in Psalms, it beats me. But it wouldn’t let me go. I was, like, what does that phrase mean? But 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 (John Pareles Interview, Santa Monica, California – September 1997)

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Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Queen Jane Approximately





When your mother sends back all your invitations
And your father to your sister he explains
That you’re tired of yourself and all of your creations
Won’t you come see me, Queen Jane?
Won’t you come see me, Queen Jane?

E/E: Who is Queen Jane?
Bob Dylan: Queen Jane is a man.
-Nora Ephron & Susan Edmiston Interview (late summer 1965)

“Queen jane Approximately” is an underrated song, modest in what it tries to do lyrically and musically, brilliant in what it achieves. .. The musical achievement of “Queen Jane Approximately” is harder for me to point to – it has to do with the deceptive simplicity of its sound. The melody is sweet and appealing, with an insistent build-up and release of rhythmic tension underlying it that is striking, surprising, full of vengeance, violence, suppressed power.
– Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

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Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Just Like A Woman





She takes just like a woman, yes, she does
She makes love just like a woman, yes, she does
And she aches just like a woman
But she breaks just like a little girl


No, no. I knew a lot of those people but I also know a lot of lesbians. They’re not going to ask me to join a lot of campaigns just because I wrote Just Like A Woman
~Bob Dylan (to Philip Fleishman, Feb 1978)

Well, that’s true, that’s true, I believe that. I believe that that feeling in that song [Just Like A Woman] is true and that I can grasp it, you know, when I’m singing it. But if you’re looking for true companion in a woman, I mean… I can’t stand to… to run with women anymore, I just can’t, it bothers me. I’d rather stand in front of a rolling train, y’know. But if you find a woman that is more than a companion, that is also your sister, and your lover and your mother, y’know, if you find all them ideas in one woman, well, then you got a companion for life. You don’t ever have to think about.
~Bob Dylan (to Matt Damsker, Sept 1978)

First of all, the song (the performance of the song included on Blonde On Blonde) is affectionate. This is evident in the opening harmonica notes, and the vocal that follows is affectionate in tone from beginning to end; there’s never a moment in the song, despite the little digs and the confessions of pain, when you can’t hear the love in his voice..
~Paul Williams (BD Performing artist 1960-73)

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