Crickets are chirpin’, the water is high
There’s a soft cotton dress on the line hangin’ dry
Window wide open, African trees
Bent over backwards from a hurricane breeze
Not a word of goodbye, not even a note
She gone with the man
In the long black coat
Manchester Arena Manchester, England 16 November 2005
I Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To New Jerusalem” Well I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell I can tell you one thing nobody can sing the-blues-like-Blind-Willie-McTell
Great version of this masterpiece from the 2002 Europe spring tour.
“Blind Willie McTell” was the most interesting performance of the night.
It used to be like that:
“No-one can sing the blues …
like Blind Willie McTell”
but tonight it went like this:
“I’ll tell you one thing …
nobody can sing …
The more astute amongst you will have noticed that the third line of this new version is quite long and doesn’t fit too well. Several times I thought the line wouldn’t fit but Bob managed to squeeze it in, just in time.
~Andy Jenkins (from the archives over @ boblinks.com)
Manchester Evening News Arena Manchester, England 9 May 2002
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Charlie Sexton (guitar)
Larry Campbell (guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
My thoughts, my personal needs have always been expressed through my songs; you can feel them there even in ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.
~Bob Dylan (to Sandra Jones – June 1981)
Even a song like Mr. Tambourine Man really isn’t a fantasy. There’s substance to the dream. Because you’ve seen it, you know? In order to have a dream, there’s something in front of you. You have to have seen something or have heard something for you to dream it. It becomes your dream then.
~Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan – March 1985)
Original version from youtube:
@ #12 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. The original version from “Bringing It All Back Home” was recorded on January 15 – 1965 @ the third recording session.
….and proceeded to record the final versions of “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “It’s Alright, Ma” & “Gates Of Eden” in a single take* with no playback between songs… it’s as though all three songs came out of him in one breath, easily the greatest breath drawn by an American artist since Ginsberg & Kerouac exhaled “Howl” & “On The Road” a decade earlier..
~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1960-73)
*although this has been found not to be entirely true (after PW wrote his book).. It’s still a GREAT quote.
The specific Tambourine Man he had in mind was Bruce Langhorne, the magnificent multi-instrumentalist who would usher in Dylan’s electric era with some spellbinding guitar playing on Bringing It All Back Home (notably on “Mr. Tambourine Man” itself).
~Clinton Heylin (Revolution in the air)