May 11: Bob Dylan’s best songs: “Lonesome Day Blues” recorded in 2001
I overwrite. If I know I am going in to record a song, I write more than I need. In the past that’s been a problem because I failed to use discretion at times. I have to guard against that. On this album, “Lonesome Day Blues” was twice as long at one point.
~Bob Dylan (Robert Hilburn – Sept 2001)
@ #152 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.. comes this hard, tough & tight electric blues.
@ #62 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. First recorded on March 23, 1989 during the recording sessions for Oh Mercy. It was overdubbed and first released in 1991 as the final song on “The Bootleg Series 1-3”. It is a great haunting song.. with fascinating lyrics.
I can’t wait, wait for you to change your mind
It’s late, I’m trying to walk the line
Well, it’s way past midnight and there are people all around
Some on their way up, some on their way down
The air burns and I’m trying to think straight
And I don’t know how much longer I can wait
…one day Bob comes in, sits at the piano, and plays this song, ‘Can’t Wait’. And this is a gospel version. Tony starts playing this real sexy groove with him, and Bob is hammering out this gospel piano and really singing. The hair on my arms went up. It was stunning. Luckily, I was recording. We were thinking, ‘If this is going to be anything like this, this record is going to be unbelievable.’
~Mark Howard (Engineer on Time Out Of Mind) about the early version – “Oxnard version”
You will search, babe
At any cost
But how long, babe
Can you search for what’s not lost?
Everybody will help you
Some people are very kind
But if I can save you any time
Come on, give it to me
I’ll keep it with mine
“I’ll Keep It with Mine,”·a heartbreakingly lovely solo performance on piano and harmonica, did turn up on Biograph, after sitting in the vault for twenty years. How can Dylan record something so beautiful and then let it remain unreleased? This is a question that gets asked again and again, which is why so many ,people collect Dylan tapes or buy boodeg (illegal, unauthorized) Dylan albums.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)
And what an exquisite song it is. Author Paul Cable once described “I’ll Keep It with Mine” as “possibly the best thing he had written up to that point . . . [while] the lyrics form the least patronizing way I have yet heard of saying, ‘I’m older than you—therefore I know better.’” In just three verses, bound to a three-line refrain, Dylan manages to encapsulate so much of what he had been hoping to say in the trio of songs to Suze. In her case, though, he hadn’t got beyond his tangled feelings long enough to whisper words like, “If I can save you any time / Come on, give it to me / I’ll keep it with mine.”
-Clinton Heylin (Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973)
They ask me how I feel
And if my love is real
And how I know I’ll make it through
They look at me and frown
They live to drive me from this town
They don’t want me around
‘Cause I believe in you.
Here was something he had spent his life dealing with – rejection. But rather than believing in himself and his own judgement in the face of such hostility, he believed in Him. And how. Fusing blues commonplaces like ‘walk out on my own I A thousand miles from home … don’t mind the pain I Don’t mind the driving rain’ to express the kind of treatment meted out to many an accidental martyr, he insists such belief cannot be shaken – not even ‘if white turn to black’. At song’s end, though ‘friends forsake’ him, he knows he ‘will sustain’.
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, . 1974-2008)