The Best Dylan Covers: Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash – It Ain’t Me, Babe

johnny and June

The Best Dylan Covers: Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash – It Ain’t Me, Babe

It Ain’t Me Babe is a song by Bob Dylan that originally appeared on his fourth album Another Side of Bob Dylan, which was released in 1964. According to music critic Oliver Trager, this song, along with others on the album, marked a departure for Dylan as he began to explore the possibilities of language and deeper levels of the human experience.


Within a year of its release, the song was picked up as a single by artists who were forging the folk rock movement, including The Turtles ,The Byrds and Johnny Cash with June Carter Cash.

Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash were admirers of each other’s work. Cash recorded the song with June Carter. The song was released on Cash’s 1965 album, Orange Blossom Special, and became a big hit.


The album also has three covers of Bob Dylan songs, that he gave Cash after a concert in Newport, Rhode Island. It Ain’t Me Babe, Don’t Think Twice, it’s Alright and Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind. The last one was only recorded by Dylan as a demo, but it was first released in an album by Cash. Cash had previously borrowed the melody of Don’t Think Twice for his recording Understand Your Man. All of Cash’s Bob Dylan recordings on Orange Blossom Special could have been on our list (and maybe they will be…), but today we present It Ain’t Me Babe.


Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash – It Ain’t Me Babe (studio version):

“…sincerity personified, and with his booming, sure voice (and June Carter’s harmonies making things even more poignant), he imbues the bittersweet song with more power and tough honesty than any singer before or since.”
– Paste Magazine

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash – It Ain’t Me Babe (live, Australia, 1973):

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash – It Ain’t Me Babe (live, year?):

June and Johnny – It Ain’t Me Babe (Johnny Cash Show, The Christmas Special 10th Anniversary, 1985):

Other entries in the series:
The Best Dylan covers: Stevie Wonder – Blowin’ in the wind
The Best Dylan Covers: George Harrison – If Not For You
The Best Dylan Covers: Emmylou Harris – Every Grain of Sand
The Best Dylan Covers: Them – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
The Best Dylan Covers: Joan Baez – Farewell Angelina
The Best Dylan Covers: Roger McGuinn – Up To Me
The Best Dylan Covers: Jeff Beck Group – Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
The Best Dylan Covers: Susan Tedeschi – Lord Protect My Child
The Best Dylan Covers: Lucinda Williams – Tryin’ To Get To Heaven
The Best Dylan Covers: Jerry Garcia Band – Simple Twist of Faith
The Best Dylan Covers: Bruce Springsteen – All Along The WatchTower
The Best Dylan Covers: Patti Smith – Changing Of The Guards
The Best Dylan Covers: Johnny Rivers – Positively 4th Street
The Best Dylan Covers: Antony and The Johnsons – Knocking On Heaven’s Door
The Best Dylan Covers: Dave Alvin – Highway 61 Revisited
The Best Dylan Covers: 16 Horsepower – Nobody ‘Cept You
The Best Dylan Covers: Alicia Keys – Pressing On
The Best Dylan Covers: Cowboy Junkies – If You Gotta Go, Go Now
The Best Dylan Covers: Nina Simone – The Ballad of Hollis Brown
The Best Dylan Covers: Ramones – My Back Pages
The Best Dylan Covers: The Long Ryders – Masters of War
The Best Dylan Covers: Cat Power – Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again
The Best Dylan Covers: The Flying Burrito Bros – To Ramona
The Best Dylan Covers: Chrissie Hynde – I Shall Be Released
The Best Dylan Covers: Norah Jones – I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight

– Hallgeir