You’re No Good
WRITTEN BY: JESSE FULLER
Appears on Bob Dylan’s eponymous debut album. Dylan’s take is a bit faster and with some small differences to the lyrics.
Jesse Fuller was an acoustic blues singer that Dylan claims to have met in Denver, Colorado in 1959. Fuller, was born in 1896 in Jonesboro, Georgia, and spent the majority of his life working at a variety of blue-collar jobs and playing music on the side.
He played at the Monterrey Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival, and had concerts with The Animals and The Rolling Stones.
A spoken introduction (referred to as “Connecticut Cowboy”) was recorded but not used on the released version (listed as “She’s No Good”) on the album Bob Dylan, 1962.
Todd Harvey (The Formative Dylan) writes that Fuller did not actually record You’re No Good until 18 months after Dylan’s recording. He also suggests that Dylan learned the song from Ramblin’ Jack Elliott who knew Fuller’s work very well.
I think Dylan’s singing style on the song (the whole album actually) is close to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s way of singing.
The lyrics are “angry” but the way he sing is quite humorous in tone.
Bob Dylan also performed the song on the East Orange Tape, Feb/Mar 1961, Minnesota Party Tape, May 1961, First McKenzie Tape, Nov-Dec 1961.
Well, I don’t know why I love you like I do —
Nobody in the world can get along with you.
You got the ways of a devil sleepin’ in a lion’s den;
I come home last night you wouldn’t even let me in.
Oh, sometimes you’re as sweet as anybody wanna agree,
When you get a crazy notion jumpin’ all over me —
When you give me the blues, I guess you’re satisfied,
When you give me the blues I wanna lay down and die.
I helped you when you had no shoes on your feet, pretty momma,
I helped you when you had no food to eat.
You’re a kinda woman I just don’t understand —
You’re takin’ all my money, give it to another man.
Well, you’re that kind of woman makes a man lose his brains,
You’re that kind of woman drives a man insane.
You give me the blues, I guess you’re satisfied,
You give me the blues, I wanna lay down and die —
Well, you give me the blues, I wanna lay down and die.