Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rolling Stone's "Happy 70th, Bob!"

And now, for something completely different...

Happy Birthday!
This month's cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine has a Happy 70th Birthday cover for Bob Dylan, with a headline that promises an article on the 70 greatest Bob Dylan songs.

As uninspired and trivial this exercise seems, I thought it would be fun to come up with my list before perusing theirs.

This list was created on flights to and from Chicago and Newark. As an extra bonus, we'll expand the collection to 100 and include some lyrics from our Top 70.

This is for fun; let us know where our opinions are out of whack.

100. Pledging My Time
99. I Was Young When I Left Home
98. I'm Not There
97. Emotionally Yours
96. Going, Going, Gone
95. Buckets of Rain
94. As I Went Out One Morning
93. Idiot Wind
92. Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight
91. Shooting Star
90. Caribbean Wind
89. Señor
88. This Wheel's on Fire
87. Everything is Broken
86. Joey
85. Highway 61 Revisited
84. Maggie's Farm
83. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Take a Train to Cry
82. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Met)
81. Forgetful Heart
80. Lay Lady Lay
79. 'Till I Fell in Love with You
79. Disease of Conceit
78. Jokerman
77. You're a Big Girl Now
76. Drifter's Escape
75. Huck's Tune
74. Moonshiner
73. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts
72. Gates of Eden
71. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

70. In the Summertime
"And I’m still carrying the gift you gave
It’s a part of me now, it’s been cherished and saved
It’ll be with me unto the grave
And then unto eternity"

69. Temporary Like Achilles
"Kneeling ’neath your ceiling
Yes, I guess I’ll be here for a while
I’m tryin’ to read your portrait, but
I’m helpless, like a rich man’s child"

68. Love Sick
"I’m sick of love; I wish I’d never met you
I’m sick of love; I’m trying to forget you
Just don’t know what to do
I’d give anything to be with you"

67. Gotta Serve Somebody
"You might be a rock ’n’ roll addict prancing on the stage
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage
You may be a businessman or some high-degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody"

66. One More Cup of Coffee
"I don’t sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above"

65. Ballad of a Thin Man
"Well, you walk into the room
Like a camel and then you frown
You put your eyes in your pocket
And your nose on the ground
There ought to be a law
Against you comin’ around
You should be made
To wear earphones
Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?"

64. I and I
"Someone else is speakin’ with my mouth, but I’m listening only to my heart
I’ve made shoes for everyone, even you, while I still go barefoot"

63. It Ain't Me, Babe
"You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe"

62. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
"You say my kisses are not like his, but this time I’m not gonna tell you why that is."

61. Ballad in Plain D
"I think of her often and hope whoever she’s met will be fully aware of how precious she is"

60. When the Ship Comes In
"Then they’ll raise their hands
Sayin’ we’ll meet all your demands
But we’ll shout from the bow your days are numbered
And like Pharoah’s tribe
They’ll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they’ll be conquered"

59. Hurricane
"Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell"

58. Sugar Baby
"Every moment of existence seems like some dirty trick. Happiness can come suddenly and leave just as quick. Any minute of the day, the bubble could burst. Try to make things better for someone, sometimes, you just end up making it a thousand times worse. Sugar Baby, get on down the road. You ain’t got no brains, no how. You went years without me, might as well keep going now."

57. Pressin' On
"Many try to stop me, shake me up in my mind
Say, 'Prove to me that He is Lord, show me a sign'
What kind of sign they need when it all come from within"

56. Absolutely Sweet Marie
"Well, I waited for you when I was half sick
Yes, I waited for you when you hated me
Well, I waited for you inside of the frozen traffic
When you knew I had some other place to be
Now, where are you tonight, sweet Marie?"

55. My Back Pages
"Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
'Rip down all hate,' I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now"

54. Mama, You've Been on My Mind
"Perhaps it’s the color of the sun cut flat
An’ cov’rin’ the crossroads I’m standing at
Or maybe it’s the weather or something like that
But mama, you been on my mind"

53. Where Teardrops Fall
"You know the song in my heart
In the turning of twilight
In the shadows of moonlight
You can show me a new place to start"

52. Is Your Love in Vain?
"All right, I’ll take a chance, I will fall in love with you
If I’m a fool you can have the night, you can have the morning too
Can you cook and sew, make flowers grow
Do you understand my pain?
Are you willing to risk it all
Or is your love in vain?"

51. Tomorrow's a Long Time
"If tomorrow wasn’t such a long time, then lonesome would mean nothing to you at all"

50. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
"I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive with fiery breath
And I dreamed I was amongst the ones
That put him out to death
Oh, I awoke in anger
So alone and terrified
I put my fingers against the glass
And bowed my head and cried"

49. The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
"Don’t go mistaking Paradise for that home across the road"

48. Sara
"Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel
Writin’ “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” for you
Sara, Sara
Wherever we travel we’re never apart
Sara, oh Sara
Beautiful lady, so dear to my heart"

47. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?
"He sits in your room, his tomb, with a fist full of tacks
Preoccupied with his vengeance
Cursing the dead that can’t answer him back
I’m sure that he has no intentions
Of looking your way, unless it’s to say
That he needs you to test his inventions"

46. Covenant Woman
"Covenant woman, intimate little girl
Who knows those most secret things of me that are hidden from the world
You know we are strangers in a land we’re passing through
I’ll always be right by your side, I’ve got a covenant too"

45. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
"Can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again?"

44. She Belongs to Me
"She can take the dark out of the nighttime and paint the daytime black"

43. If You See Her, Say Hello
"And though our separation, it pierced me to the heart
She still lives inside of me, we've never been apart
If you get close to her, kiss her once for me
I always have respected her for busting out and gettin' free
Oh, whatever makes her happy, I won't stand in the way
Though the bitter taste still lingers on from the night I tried to make her stay
I see a lot of people as I make the rounds
And I hear her name here and there as I go from town to town"

42. License to Kill
"Now he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool
And when he sees his reflection, he’s fulfilled
Oh, man is opposed to fair play
He wants it all and he wants it his way"

41. Cold Irons Bound
"Oh, the winds in Chicago have torn me to shreds
Reality has always had too many heads
Some things last longer than you think they will
There are some kind of things you can never kill
It’s you and you only I been thinking about
But you can’t see in and it’s hard lookin’ out
I’m twenty miles out of town in cold irons bound"

40. Ring them Bells
"Oh the shepherd is asleep
Where the willows weep
And the mountains are filled
With lost sheep"

39. Bob Dylan's Dream
"With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon
Where we together weathered many a storm
Laughin’ and singin’ till the early hours of the morn"

38. Don't Think Twice It's Alright
"I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right
I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So I’ll just say fare thee well
I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right"

37. One Too Many Mornings
"From the crossroads of my doorstep
My eyes they start to fade
As I turn my head back to the room
Where my love and I have laid"

36. 4th Time Around
"You, you took me in
You loved me then
You didn’t waste time
And I, I never took much
I never asked for your crutch
Now don’t ask for mine"

35. It's all Over Now, Baby Blue
"Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you
The vagabond who’s rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore"

34. Chimes of Freedom
"As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look
Spellbound an’ swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an’ worse
An’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing"

33. When I Paint My Masterpiece
"Oh, the hours I’ve spent inside the Coliseum
Dodging lions and wastin’ time
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly stand to see ’em
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb
Train wheels runnin’ through the back of my memory
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece"

32. Tryin' to Get to Heaven
"I tried to give you everything
That your heart was longing for
I’m just going down the road feeling bad
Trying to get to heaven before they close the door"

31. Make You Feel My Love
"When the evening shadows and the stars appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears,
I could hold you for a million years, to make you feel my love."

30. A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall
"I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’"

29. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
"My love winks, she does not bother. She knows too much to argue or to judge"

28. Masters of War
"You’ve thrown the worst fear that can ever be hurled: fear to bring children into the world. For threatening my baby, unborn and unnamed, you ain’t worth the blood that runs in your veins."

27. Times They are a-Changin'
"Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don’t criticize what you can’t understand. Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly agin’. Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand,f or the times they are a-changin’."

26. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
"With your silhouette when the sunlight dims
Into your eyes where the moonlight swims
And your matchbook songs and your gypsy hymns
Who among them would try to impress you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums
Should I leave them by your gate
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?"

25. Tangled Up in Blue
"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"

24. Simple Twist of Fate
"He woke up, the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care, pushed the window open wide
Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate"

23. Forever Young
"May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung. May you stay forever young."

22. Not Dark Yet
"I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there"

21. I Shall be Released
"They say ev’rything can be replaced
Yet ev’ry distance is not near
So I remember ev’ry face
Of ev’ry man who put me here"

20. Knocking on Heaven's Door
"Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door"

19. The Man in Me
"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"

18. Standing in the Doorway
"The ghost of our old love has not gone away
Don’t look like it will anytime soon
You left me standing in the doorway crying
Under the midnight moon
Last night I danced with a stranger
But she just reminded me you were the one
You left me standing in the doorway crying
In the dark land of the sun
It always means so much
Even the softest touch
I see nothing to be gained by any explanation
There are no words that need to be said
You left me standing in the doorway crying
Blues wrapped around my head"

17. I Want You
"The silver saxophones say I should refuse you
The cracked bells and washed-out horns
Blow into my face with scorn
But it’s not that way
I wasn’t born to lose you"

16. To Ramona
"Your cracked country lips
I still wish to kiss
As to be under the strength of your skin
Your magnetic movements
Still capture the minutes I’m in
But it grieves my heart, love
To see you tryin’ to be a part of
A world that just don’t exist
It’s all just a dream, babe
A vacuum, a scheme, babe
That sucks you into feelin’ like this"

15. Just Like a Woman
"When we meet again, introduced as friends, please don’t let on that you knew me when I was hungry and it was your world."

14. One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)
"I couldn’t see what you could show me
Your scarf had kept your mouth well hid
I couldn’t see how you could know me
But you said you knew me and I believed you did"

13. Girl from the North Country
"I’m a-wonderin’ if she remembers me at all
Many times I’ve often prayed
In the darkness of my night
In the brightness of my day"

12. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
"I started out on burgundy
But soon hit the harder stuff
Everybody said they’d stand behind me
When the game got rough
But the joke was on me
There was nobody even there to call my bluff
I’m going back to New York City
I do believe I’ve had enough"

11. Every Grain of Sand
"In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed
There’s a dyin’ voice within me reaching out somewhere
Toiling in the danger and in the morals of despair"

10. Blowin' in the Wind
"How many years can a mountain exist before it’s washed to the sea? Yes, ’n’ how many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free?"

9. Positively 4th St
"You got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend. When I was down, you just stood there grinning. You got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend. You just want to be on the side that’s winning."

8. Like a Rolling Stone
"Once upon a time you dressed so fine. You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?"

7. All Along the Watchtower
"'No reason to get excited,' the thief, he kindly spoke
'There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late'"

6. Desolation Row
"In comes Romeo, he’s moaning
'You Belong to Me I Believe'
And someone says, 'You’re in the wrong place my friend
You better leave'
And the only sound that’s left
After the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up
On Desolation Row"

5. Boots of Spanish Leather
"Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that’s all I’m wishin’ to be ownin’"

4. Queen Jane Approximately
"When all the clowns that you have commissioned
Have died in battle or in vain
And you’re sick of all this repetition
Won’t you come see me, Queen Jane?"

3. Shelter from the Storm
"She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
'Come in,' she said, 'I’ll give you shelter from the storm'"

2. Mr. Tambourine Man
"Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow"

1. Visions of Johanna
"Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel
The peddler now speaks to the countess who’s pretending to care for him
Sayin’, “Name me someone that’s not a parasite and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him”
But like Louise always says
“Ya can’t look at much, can ya man?”
As she, herself, prepares for him
And Madonna, she still has not showed
We see this empty cage now corrode
Where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
He writes ev’rything’s been returned which was owed
On the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes
The harmonicas play the skeleton keys and the rain
And these visions of Johanna are now all that remain"

Happy 70th Birthday, Bob. Forever Young.

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