Bob Dylan quotes from 1970 – 1974

bob dylan 1970

We continue our series of posts with Bob Dylan quotes.

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These quotes are collected from song lyrics & interviews. It’s not only “great” quotes we’ve collected, but also important quotes & funny quotes.Quotes collected from song lyrics are tried to be kept brief….  it would often be tempting to quote whole songs. Also we’ll try to limit ourselves to max 3 quotes from the same song.Some songs are sorted under the year they were released (on record), other’s are sorted under the year they were obviously written/recorded.Please comment/send us input, but we don’t like quotes without a source…

Note: Bob Dylan did not do many interviews between 1970 – 73, and the ones he gave were usually brief.  But in January 1974 he gave five solid interview “performances”.

bob dylan 1970_


From songs:

The man in me will hide sometimes to keep from bein’ seen
But that’s just because he doesn’t want to turn into some machine
Took a woman like you
To get through to the man in me
~The Man In Me

If not for you
Winter would have no spring
Couldn’t hear the robin sing
I just wouldn’t have a clue
Anyway it wouldn’t ring true
If not for you
~If Not For You

Build me a cabin in Utah
Marry me a wife, catch rainbow trout
Have a bunch of kids who call me “Pa”
That must be what it’s all about
That must be what it’s all about
~Sign On The Window

From interviews:


bob dylan happy traum


From songs:

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
Ancient footprints are everywhere
You can almost think that you’re seein’ double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs
Got to hurry on back to my hotel room
Where I’ve got me a date with Botticelli’s niece
She promised that she’d be right there with me
When I paint my masterpiece
~When I paint my masterpiece

Prison guards, they cursed him
As they watched him from above
But they were frightened of his power
They were scared of his love.
Lord, Lord,
So they cut George Jackson down.
Lord, Lord,
They laid him in the ground.
~George Jackson

From “interview”:

I’m not Dylan, you’re Dylan.
~A.J. Weberman Interview, January 1971

Bob Dylan: Man, I’m gonna do an article on you, man. I think I’m gonna write a song about you, too.
Weberman: Well, I could use the publicity.
Bob Dylan: Yeah, well… that’s one reason why I wouldn’t, man —
Weberman: (Laughter)
Bob Dylan: …I got a good song, man — if I ever want to do one —
Weberman: What s it called?
Bob Dylan: It s called ‘Pig’ —
Weberman: I’m a pig, eh?
Bob Dylan: Yeah.
~A.J. Weberman Interview, January 1971

bob dylan 1972 Alias pat garret billy the kid


From songs:


From interviews:



Well since the above categories were empty, I had to find something worth sharing:

Letter about John Lennon that Bob Dylan sent to the US immigration service in 1972:

JUSTICE for John & Yoko!

John and Yoko add a great voice and drive to this country’s so called ART INSTITUTION / They inspire and transcend and stimulate and by doing so, only can help others to see pure light and in doing that, put an end to this mild dull taste of petty commercialism which is being passed off as Artist Art by the overpowering mass-media. Hurray for John & Yoko. Let them stay and live here and breathe. The country’s got plenty of room and space. Let John and Yoko stay!

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan 1973


From songs:

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
~Forever Young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
~Forever Young

I hate myself for lovin’ you and the weakness that it showed
You were just a painted face on a trip down Suicide Road
The stage was set, the lights went out all around the old hotel
I hate myself for lovin’ you and I’m glad the curtain fell

It’s never been my duty to remake the world at large
Nor is it my intention to sound a battle charge
’Cause I love you more than all of that with a love that doesn’t bend
And if there is eternity I’d love you there again
~Wedding Song

Twilight on the frozen lake
North wind about to break
On footprints in the snow
Silence down below
~Never Say Goodbye

From interviews:

New York’s the place. That’s what John Lennon says.
~Michael Watts interview for Melody Maker, Mexico (Jan 1973)

bob dylan 1974


From songs:

She lit a burner on the stove
And offered me a pipe
“I thought you’d never say hello,” she said
“You look like the silent type”
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin’ coal
Pourin’ off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
Tangled up in blue
~Tangled Up In Blue

I’m going out of my mind, oh, oh
With a pain that stops and starts
Like a corkscrew to my heart
Ever since we’ve been apart
~You’re A Big Girl Now

I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”
~Shelter From The Storm

If you’re makin’ love to her, kiss her for the kid,
Who always has respected her for doin’ what she did
Oh, I know it had to be that way, it was written in the
Still the bitter taste still lingers on, it all came down
so hard.
~If You See Here, Say Hello (New York version)

Well, children cry for mother
I tell them, “Mother took a trip”
Well, I walk on pins and needles
I hope my tongue don’t slip
~Call Letter Blues

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
~Simple Twist Of Fate

It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart
You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn’t enough to change my heart
Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped
What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top
You’re on the bottom
~Idiot Wind

If I’d thought about it I never would’ve done it, I guess I would’ve let it slide
If I’d lived my life by what others were thinkin’, the heart inside me would’ve died
I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity
Someone had to reach for the risin’ star, I guess it was up to me
~Up To Me

From interviews:

The interviews took place during the 74-tour, so most of the questions were related to the ongoing tour.

Being on tour is like being in limbo. It’s like going from nowhere to nowhere.
~To John Rockwell, Jan 1974

The last tour we did, in 1965-66, was like a hurricane, this one is more like a hard rain. The last tour, we were going all the time, even when we weren’t going. We were always doing something else, which is just as draining as performing. We were looking for Loch Ness monsters, staying up for four days running—and making all those 8 o’clock curtains, besides. There won’t be any of that on this tour—for me, anyway.
~To John Rockwell, Jan 1974

I still write songs the same way I always did: I get a first line, the words and the tune together, and then I work out the rest wherever I happen to be, whenever I have time. If it’s really important, I’ll just make the time and try to finish it.
~To John Rockwell, Jan 1974

Now I want to do a lot of different things. I’d like eventually to make my own kind of movie, but first I’ll have to do two or three more to get into ‘em. Eventually, my turn will come.
~To John Rockwell, Jan 1974

Well, it wasn’t planned… I saw daylight; I took off.
~To Ben Fong-Torres, Jan 1974

..but then there’s the realization that the songs I’m singing mean as much to the people as to me, so it’s just up to me to perform the best I can.
~To Ben Fong-Torres, Jan 1974

Religion to me is a fleeting thing. Can’t nail it down. It’s in me and out of me.
~To Ben Fong-Torres, Jan 1974

The turning point was back in Woodstock. A little after the accident. Sitting around one night under a full moon, looked out into the bleak woods and I said, “Something’s gotta change.” There was some business that had to be taken care of that we don’t have to go into. But it was too much. It finally broke the camels back. Now it’s the same old me again.
~To Ben Fong-Torres, Jan 1974

I’ve transcended that pain, the pain of material things.
It helps to be a millionaire, doesn’t it? (Maureen Orth)
I’d be doing what I’m doing if I was a millionaire or not, whether I was getting paid for it or not. In the ‘60s there was a certain bunch of us who came through the wars. There was a lot of death during that time. The ‘60s were filled with it. It has helped me to grow up.
~To Maureen Orth (Newsweek), Jan 1974

bob dylan el greco 1974

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4 thoughts on “Bob Dylan quotes from 1970 – 1974”

  1. Someone’s got it in for me,
    They’re planting stories in the press.

    I met a man named Gray
    And took his wife to Italy.
    She inherited a million bucks
    And when she died, it came to me.
    I can’t help it if I’m lucky.
    “Idiot Wind”

    The crowd thinned out
    And I was just about to do the same.
    “Tangled Up In Blue”

    Who else could come up with that stuff?

  2. 1) If dogs run free, then why not me ? (New Morning)
    2) Sometimes I think this whole world is one big prison yard. Some of us are prisoners, the rest of us are guards. (George Jackson)
    3) In this age of fiberglass, I’m looking for a gem (Dirge, Planet Waves)
    4) Love is so simple, to quote a phrase. You’ve known it all the time, I’m learning it these days. (You’re a big girl now, Blood on the Tracks)
    5) Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine. (Shelter from the storm, Blood…)
    6) No one else could play that tune, you know it was up to me. (Up to me, Blood ….)

  3. I just bought Basement Tapes… Luv the songs. But the “one” song, I luv the most is
    “God Knows” ……… It got me out of a mental jam about 6 years ago at work.

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