January 21: Bob Dylan Recorded One Of His Best Songs “She’s Your Lover Now” in 1966

Bob Dylan 1966 10

Pain sure brings out the best in people, doesn’t it?
– Bob Dylan (She’s Your Lover SNow)

..‘She’s Your Lover Now’, a gleeful masterpiece more redolent of its era than most things that came out at the time..
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

On January 21, 1966 @ Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios, NYC Dylan tried this song 19 times. It was the only song he tried this day, he would never return to it..

None of the 19 cuts were complete… he never nailed it.. but the one on “The Bootleg Seriers 1-3″ came close…

This beauty is @ #17 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.

Bootleg Series 1-3 version:



  • Bob Dylan (guitar, piano, harmonica, vocal)
  • Robbie Robertson (guitar)
  • Garth Hudson (organ)
  • Rick Danko (bass)
  • Richard Manuel (piano)
  • Sandy Konikoff (drums).

Bob Dylan 1966 11

“She’s Your Lover Now,” the one major work recorded on this occasion, is shattering enough. Like “Visions of Johanna” in November, it was the immediate priority when he arrived at the January 21 session, and he immediately set about getting the groove right before all drama drained from this cathartic composition………. that he set about recording the song in all its raging glory, Konikoff’s rat-a-tat drumming driving the song forward on wave after wave of recrimination.
~Clinton Heylin (Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973)

From Wikipedia:

Released March 26, 1991
Recorded January 21, 1966
Genre Rock
Length 6:09
Label Columbia
Writer Bob Dylan
Producer Bob Johnston


The third session for Blonde on Blonde, which took place on January 21, 1966, in Studio A of Columbia Recording Studios in New York City, focused entirely on laying down a complete take of “She’s Your Lover Now”. 19 takes were recorded between 2:30 PM and 2:30 AM, but several were false starts. The most complete take was take 19, which was subsequently released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991. After the 21st, the song was dropped from recording and never returned to.

On the recording sheet, each take is titled “Just a Little Glass of Water“, which was the song’s working name.



Solo version

Then, in the summer of 1980, a revelation for Dylan collectors: an acetate (recording of studio pressing) turned up entitled ‘Just a little glass of water No. 89210’… which turned out to be a full-length ‘She’s Your Lover Now’ sung by Dylan alone at the piano.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

It’s a great song in any case, and this version is absolutely stunning – the power of Dylan’s voice and the genius of his expressive gift can be heard at their most naked..
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

Cutting Edge versions

On November 6, 2015 “The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966” was released.  4 versions of “She´s Your Lover Now” was included.

Take 6 – spotify:

Take 16 – vimeo:

The song has never been performed live by Dylan.


The pawnbroker roared
Also, so, so did the landlord
The scene was so crazy, wasn’t it?
Both were so glad
To watch me destroy what I had
Pain sure brings out the best in people, doesn’t it?
Why didn’t you just leave me if you didn’t want to stay?
Why’d you have to treat me so bad?
Did it have to be that way?
Now you stand here expectin’ me to remember somethin’ you forgot to say
Yes, and you, I see you’re still with her, well
That’s fine ’cause she’s comin’ on so strange, can’t you tell?
Somebody had better explain
She’s got her iron chain
I’d do it, but I, I just can’t remember how
You talk to her
She’s your lover now

I already assumed
That we’re in the felony room
But I ain’t a judge, you don’t have to be nice to me
But please tell that
To your friend in the cowboy hat
You know he keeps on sayin’ ev’rythin’ twice to me
You know I was straight with you
You know I’ve never tried to change you in any way
You know if you didn’t want to be with me
That you could . . . didn’t have to stay
Now you stand here sayin’ you forgive and forget. Honey, what can I say?
Yes, you, you just sit around and ask for ashtrays, can’t you reach?
I see you kiss her on the cheek ev’rytime she gives a speech
With her picture books of the pyramid
And her postcards of Billy the Kid (why must everybody bow?)
You better talk to her ’bout it
You’re her lover now

Oh, ev’rybody that cares
Is goin’ up the castle stairs
But I’m not up in your castle, honey
It’s true, I just can’t recall
San Francisco at all
I can’t even remember El Paso, uh, honey
You never had to be faithful
I didn’t want you to grieve
Oh, why was it so hard for you
If you didn’t want to be with me, just to leave?
Now you stand here while your finger’s goin’ up my sleeve
An’ you, just what do you do anyway? Ain’t there nothin’ you can say?
She’ll be standin’ on the bar soon
With a fish head an’ a harpoon
An’ a fake beard plastered on her brow
You’d better do somethin’ quick
She’s your lover now

missing verse:

Now your eyes cry wolf,
While your mouth cries “I’m not scared
Of animals like you.”
And you, there’s been nothing of you I can recall;
I just saw you that one time. You were just there, that’s all.
But, I’ve already been kissed,
I’m not gonna get into this.
I couldn’t make it, anyhow.
You do it for me,
You’re her lover now



2 thoughts on “January 21: Bob Dylan Recorded One Of His Best Songs “She’s Your Lover Now” in 1966”

  1. The aggravating policy of Jeff Rosen with his disregard for vinyl and his tendency for over indulgent cd boxes both lead to irritating compilations that never work as albums and miss out on collecting a logical assembly of best outtakes. Not including the piano version on the lp’s of Cutting Edge is just plain baffling, especialy if you consider that what is included is sometimes redundant, offering versions of songs that are not different enough or plainly of less value. He repeats that mistake with Trouble no More, where Making a Liar out of Me and other studio takes not present in the vinyl box, making place for repeats of Slow Train Coming and so on that are of less interest. Slowly my love for the Bootleg Series is diminishing. I would rather have had nice releases of original albums with an extra lp of accomplished outtakes, without false starts of unfinished try outs. But hey, some people are more of the hoarding kind, wanting to collect every scrap of what Dylan did, let them have their fun. I count my losses haha.

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