BOB DYLAN

BOB DYLAN (1962)
She's No Good (J. Fuller) Released by its writer Jesse Fuller later on 1963 LP San Francisco Bay Blues [Prestige Folklore 14006].
In My Time of Dyin' (trad.) Recorded under various names by Josh White - “Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin’ Bed” [‘33, Banner 32859, and ’55, Elektra EKL 102, Josh at Midnight], “Well, Well, Well” [’44, Asch 560-3, various artists album Ballads], “In My Time of Dyin” [’44, released in ‘90s on CD], “He’s a Dyin’ Bed Maker” [’50, BBC broadcast later released on CD]. It has its roots in Blind Willie Johnson's "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed" ['27, Columbia 14276-D], Charley Patton's "Jesus Is a Dying-Bed Maker" ['29, Paramount 12986] Mitchell’s Christian Singers’ “Jesus Goin’ Make Up My Dying Bed” [‘38, Vocalion 04357], and was later recorded by Led Zeppelin [‘75] and Alvin Youngblood Hart [2005].
Man of Constant Sorrow (Dick Burnett, as “Farewell Song” in 1913 Dick Burnett Songster) “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” by Emry Arthur, a friend of Burnett’s [‘28, Vocalion 5208, and ‘31, Paramount 3289] and by the Stanley Brothers [‘50, Columbia 20816, and ‘59, King 5269]. It became the centerpiece of the 2000 film O Brother Where Art Thou?, performed by the Soggy Bottom Boys.
Fixin' to Die (B. White) Bukka White “Fixin’ to Die Blues” [’40, Vocalion 05588]. Also recorded by Dave ‘Snaker’ Ray [‘64 various artists collection The Blues Project, Elektra EKL-264], Buffy Ste. Marie [Many a Mile, Vanguard VSD 79191] and Dave Van Ronk [‘67, Dave Van Ronk Folksinger Prestige Folklore 14012]
Pretty Peggy-O (trad.) Also called “Peggy-O”, it originated with the Scottish ballad “The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie”, and has been known as other versions under names such as “Bonnie Barbara-O”, “Handsome Polly-O” or “Pretty Peggy of Derby”. It was published by Cecil Sharp in his 1932 collection English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians. The first recording, as “Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie,” was by John Strachan [‘51, Alan Lomax tape recording, perhaps issued in 1960 on Folk Songs of Britain, and in 1998 on a Rounder CD]; Joan Baez recorded it as “Fennario” [‘62, Joan Baez in Concert, Vol. 2].
Highway 51 (C. Jones). Recorded by Curtis Jones in 1938 [as “Highway 51 Blues”, Vocalion 03990] and again in 1962 [Lonesome Bedroom Blues, Delmark DL 605]. Also recorded by Tommy McLennan as “New Highway No. 51” [‘40, Bluebird B8499].
Gospel Plow Published by Alan and John Lomax in their 1941 Our Singing Country. Recorded as an electrical transcription on Standard Program Library U137 in 1939 by the Bronzemen, in Hollywood, as “Hold On (Keep Yo’ Hand on the Plow)”; by the Folksmiths, with Joe Hickerson, in 1957 on We’ve Got Some Singing To Do [Folkways F2407]; as “Hold On” by Odetta [‘61, Odetta at Carnegie Hall, Vanguard 73003]; also called “Paul and Silas” and “Keep Your Hand on the Plow.” It was refashioned into the Civil Rights anthem “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” (see below under Bruce Springsteen). [Songs called “Paul and Silas” were recorded in 1928 by the South Carolina Quartette, in 1932 by Snowball and Sunshine (unissued), and in 1933 by the Diamond Four, but I don’t know whether it is the same song; there seem to be other songs with this title.]
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (R. von Schmidt) This originated as “Don’t Tear My Clothes” by the State Street Boys, including Bill Broonzy, Jazz Gillum, Black Bob, and Carl Martin [‘35, Okeh 8962]. Subsequent variations include Georgia White [‘36, “Daddy Let Me Lay It In You”, Decca 7323], Washboard Sam [’36, “Don’t Tear My Clothes”, Vocalion 02937], Blind Boy Fuller [‘36, “Mama Let Me Lay It On You”, ARC 6-08-54], Walter Coleman [‘36, “Mama Let Me Lay It On You”, Decca 7157], the Harlem Hamfats [‘37, “Baby Don’t You Tear My Clothes”, Decca 7210], and later by Professor Longhair [‘57, “Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand”, Ebb 121], Snooks Eaglin [‘59, “Mama Don’t You Tear My Clothes”, Bluesville LP1046 That‘s All Right, rel. ‘61] and Lightnin’ Hopkins [‘61, “Baby Don’t You Tear My Clothes”, Bluesville LP1057 Walkin‘ the Street, rel. ‘62]. Dylan learned the song from Eric Von Schmidt. A version by Hoagy Lands (“Baby Let Me Take You Home”) was covered by the Animals (see above.). Dave Van Ronk included it as “Baby Let Me Lay It On You” on Just Dave [‘64, Mercury SR60908], learned from Rev. Gary Davis, who had been performing it back in ‘36.
House of the Risin' Sun (trad.) Dylan learned his version from Dave Van Ronk; forms a link in the history of this song from its country roots in the ‘30s, through Josh White’s versions, to Joan Baez and Dave Van Ronk, to its incarnation as a #1 rock hit by the Animals (which see).
Freight Train Blues (trad.) Recorded by Roy Acuff [‘36, Vocalion 04466] and the Callahan Brothers [‘36, ARC 6-09-53]. There is also a 1930 country recording by this name by Billy Brooks [Columbia 15614].
Song to Woody borrows its tune from Woody Guthrie’s “1913 Massacre”.
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (L. Jefferson) Blind Lemon Jefferson [‘27, Paramount 12585], the Carter Family [‘33, Victor 23835], Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith [‘38, “A Lonesome Day Today” Bluebird B-7547], and later by Dave Van Ronk [‘61, Dave Van Ronk Sings (Earthy Ballads and Blues) FW 02383].
FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN (1963) This and the next LP have Dylan's first writing credits, but several of them are based on or strongly influenced by other folk sources
Blowin' in the Wind Dylan’s first hit, in Peter, Paul & Mary’s version [‘63]. Apparently the first performance and recording were by the New World Singers (Gil Turner, Bob Cohen, Dolores Dixon and Happy Traum), Inspired by the spiritual “No More Auction Block”, recorded by Odetta in ‘61. Originating as early as 1833 among the free slaves escaped to Canada, it was first recorded by Paul Robeson [‘47], then by Alan Mills [‘56] and Pete Seeger [‘61].
Girl from the North Country “Scarborough Fair” is a 17th century English folk song, called ‘The Elfin Knight‘ by Child, first recorded for the 1955 LP Encores from the Abbaye by Gordon Heath & Lee Payant [Elektra 29]. It was published in the Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger songbook The Singing Island, recorded as ‘The Elfin Knight’ on the LP Classic Scots Ballads [Tradition TLP 1015], and was learned from there by Martin Carthy [’65 self-titled debut LP, Topic 340]. Dylan learned the song from Carthy and it was adapted into this song as well as “Boots of Spanish Leather”.
Masters of War Based on Jean Ritchie’s version of the traditional “Fair Nottamun Town” [’54 Kentucky Mountain Songs Elektra]. Recorded by Judy Collins [’62], Davy Graham & Shirley Collins [’64], Bert Jansch [‘66, Jack Orion] and Fairport Convention [’69]. Dylan learned it from Jansch in ‘62.
A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall Based on “Lord Randall” (Child Ballad #12). Recorded in 1962 by Dylan [Live at the Gaslight] and by Pete Seeger for Broadside in 1963.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right Inspired by Paul Clayton’s ‘Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons (When I’m Gone)’ [‘60, Monument 45-416], close enough to prompt a lawsuit. Its first issue as a single was by the New World Singers [6/63, Atlantic 2190]. It was covered by Joan Baez [63, Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2 Vanguard 2123] and a Top 10 hit for Peter, Paul and Mary [’63].
Bob Dylan's Dream Dylan adapted this from “Lord Franklin”, which he learned from Martin Carthy (who recorded it in ‘66). Its first recording was by John McCormack [‘06, Odeon], based on the oldest dateable Irish melody, “Cailin o cois tSiure mi”. Othere recordings: Paddy Grant [‘53, “McCaffery”], Jimmy McBeath [‘53, “McCafferty”, Lomax recording], Wade Helmsworth [‘55, “Franklin Expedition”], Paul Clayton [‘56, “Lady Franklin’s Lament”], A.L. Lloyd [‘56, “Lord Franklin”], Alan Mills [‘56, “Lord Franklin”], Wallace House [‘56], Dominic Behan [‘58, “McCaffery”], and the Clancy Brothers [‘59]; Dylan may have been aware of the Clancy Brothers’ version.
Oxford Town Rypens says this is melodically related to the Stanley Brothers’ “Mountain Folks”.
Corrina, Corrina Inspired by the Bo Chatmon song (see Ray Peterson in hit section), but freely adapted - not very close lyrically or musically. Includes a verse from Robert Johnson’s “Stones in my Passway” (according to Rypens) (and the melody?).
Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance Based on Henry Thomas [‘27]
I Shall Be`Free Based on Woodie Guthrie’s version of the Leadbelly song “We Shall Be Free”, omitting the chorus. The Leadbelly song was also recorded by Sonny Terry and Cisco Houston.
THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN' (1964)
With God On Our Side Dylan borrowed the melody from “The Patriot Game”, which he knew through the Clancy Brothers [‘63, In Person at Carnegie Hall Columbia 1950] or from Nigel Denver; later recorded by the Kingston Trio [’64, Time to Think Capitol 2011] and Judy Collins [’70, Whales and Nightingales Elektra 75010]. This was written and recorded by Dominic Behan [‘57], who in turn borrowed the traditional melody “The Bold Grenadier”, recorded in the ‘40s by the Cambridge Singers, a variation of the English archetype “Villikins and His Dinah”. Also called “The Merry Month of May” or “The Nightingale”.
Boots of Spanish Leather See above “Girl from the North Country”.
Restless Farewell Taught to Dylan by Nigel Denver as “Leaving of Liverpool.” Recorded as “The Parting Glass” by the Clancy Brothers [‘59, Tradition], this Irish parting song appeared on broadsides in the 1770s with a melody from the preceding century.
BLONDE ON BLONDE (1966)
4th Time Around has obvious similarities to the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood.”
JOHN WESLEY HARDING (1968)
I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine is said by Rypens to be based on the labor ballad “Joe Hill” (see below under Joan Baez).
SELF-PORTRAIT (1970)
I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know (C.A. Null) Davis Sisters [‘53, RCA]
Days of 49 (F. Warner, J.A. Lomax, A. Lomax) Jules Allen [‘28, Victor 21627]
Early Mornin' Rain (G. Lightfoot) Ian & Sylvia [‘65, Vanguard], Judy Collins [‘65], Peter, Paul & Mary [‘65], Kingston Trio [‘65], Gordon Lightfoot [‘66], several others
Little Sadie (Bob Dylan) Clarence Ashley [‘29, Columbia 15522-D]; other versions include Riley Puckett [‘34, “Chain Gang Blues“], Woodie Guthrie [‘44, “Bad Lee Brown” for Asch], Red Arnall with Slumber Nichols’ Western Aces [‘47, “Cocaine Blues”], Billy Hughes [‘47, “Cocaine Blues”], Roy Hogsed [‘47, “Cocaine Blues”], Cisco Houston [‘55, “Bad Lee Brown”], Johnny Cash [‘60, “Transfusion Blues” and ‘68 “Cocaine Blues”], Kingston Trio [‘60, “Bad Man’s Blunder”], Doc Watson & Clarence Tom Ashley [‘63, Folkways].
Let It Be Me (M. Curtis, P. Delanoe, G. Becaud) 1955 French song ‘Je t’appartiens’ by Gilbert Bécaud, introduced in English by Jill Corey on the TV drama series Climax [’57, Columbia 40878], a hit for the Everly Brothers [‘60, Cadence 1376] and for Jerry Butler & Betty Everett [’64, Vee-Jay 613],
Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight) (A.F. Beddoe) Oscar Brand [‘53, Audio Fidelity], Joan Baez [62]
Gotta Travel On (P.Clayton, L. Ehrlich, D. Lazar, T. Six) A hit for Billy Grammer [‘59, Monument 400] based on the British string band tune ‘Yonder Comes the High Sheriff’. (See under Grammer for more information.)
Blue Moon (L. Hart, R. Rodgers) Rodgers and Hart classic with several popular version in 1935, revived by Billy Eckstine [3/49,MGM 10311] and Mel Tormé [4/49, Capitol 15428], and recorded by Elvis for Sun Records in 1954 [LPM 1254]. A big hit in 1961 in neo-doo-wop style by the Marcels [Colpix 186] (see there for more information).
The Boxer (P. Simon) A hit for Simon & Carbuncle [‘69, Columbia 44785]
Take Me As I Am (Or Let Me Go) (B. Bryant) Little Jimmy Dickens [‘54, Columbia], Ray Price [‘67, Columbia 44374]
Take a Message to Mary (F. Bryant, B. Bryant) Everly Brothers [‘59]
It Hurts Me Too (Hudson Whittaker aka Tampa Red] Tampa Red [‘39, Bluebird and ‘49, “When Things Go Wrong With You”]. Others include Ike Turner with Ben Burton [‘52, “You’re Drivin’ Me Insane”], Elmore James [‘57 Chief & Vee Jay, also ‘63].
GOOD AS I BEEN TO YOU (1992)
Frankie & Albert For more full information on this song, see above under Elvis Presley (1965) A song from the late 1800s, widely recorded in the 1920‘s and since, with hits by Brook Benton, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley. Dylan follows Rory Block's version (according to Rypens).
Jim Jones Australian folk ballad “Jim Jones at Botany Bay” written as early as 1907. Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd [‘57, Convicts and Currency Lads Australian 7” EP Wattle B2]. Doug Owen [’6?, Australian Folk Night, W&G WG-B-1829], A.L. Lloyd on The Great Australian Legend [‘71, in UK Topic 12TS203, in Australia Score POL50, a collaboration between A.L. Lloyd, Trevor Lucas and Martyn Wyndham-Read, with backing musicians such as Dave Swarbrick], Martin Carthy [‘99 Signs of Life Topic 503]; Martyn Wyndham-Read [perhaps early ‘70s - compilation? Undiscovered Australia]. Mick Slocum of the Original Bushwhackers and Bullockies Band [‘74, The Shearer’s Dream Australian Picture PRF 1007] received belated credit for Dylan’s arrangement.
Blackjack Davey American hillbilly variant of the British ballad “The Gypsy Laddie”: English Harry Cox [‘53], Scottish Jeannie Robertson [‘60], Irish Paddy Doran [‘52]. “Black Jack David” was first recorded by Professor & Mrs. I.G. Greer [‘29, Paramount]. Others include Cliff Carlisle [‘39], the Carter Family [‘40, also as “The Gypsie Soldier”], Woody Guthrie [‘44, “Gypsy Davey”], T. Texas Tyler [‘45], Warren Smith [‘56, B-side of “Ubangi Stomp”], the Incredible String Band.
Canadee-i-o (Roud #309) Canadian & Irish folk ballad, before 1840; aka “O-Canada”, “The Wearing of the Blue”, “Caledonia” (but not the Scotch song), “Michigan-I-O”. Recorded as “Canaday” by Paul Clayton [‘57, Timber-r-r!, Riverside RLP 12-648]; Nic Jones ‘80 [Penguin Eggs LP, Shanachie].
Sittin' On Top of the World (Walter Vinson). This 1930 Mississippi Sheiks song [Okeh] has had any incarnations, including: Clarence Williams Jazz Band, with Lonnie Johnson [‘30], Memphis Minnie [‘30, melody of “You Dirty Mistreater”], Charlie Patton with Willie Brown [‘30, “Some Summer Day”], Beale Street Rounders [‘30], Tampa Red [‘31, “Things ‘Bout Coming My Way”], Sam Collins [‘31, “I’m Still Sitting On Top of the World”], Big Bill Bronzy [‘32, melody of “Worrying You off My Mind” and ‘35, “The Sun Gonna Shine On My Backdoor Someday’], Milton Brown [‘34], Jimmy Oden [‘34, “Six Feet in the Ground”], Kokomo Arnold [‘35, “Things ‘Bout Coming My Way”], Bob Wills [‘35], Robert Johnson [‘36, “Come On In My Kitchen”], Blind Boy Fuller with Sonny Terry [‘37, “Mistreater You’re Gonna Be Sorry], Howlin’ Wolf [‘57], Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee [‘57, “No Need of Running”], the Grateful Dead and Cream. (Brownie McGhee’s 1948 R&B hit “My Fault” [Savoy 5551] has the same tune but different words.)
Little Maggie (Henry Whitter) A bluegrass standard: “Little Maggie (With a Dram Glass In Her Hand)” by G.B. Grayson & Henry Whitter [‘28, Victor]. Other versions by Wade Mainer [‘37], Bill Monroe, Stanley Brothers [‘47, Rich-R-Tone 423-B and ‘60, Starday 522], Tom Paley [‘53, Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians Elektra EKL-12], Kingston Trio [’58 Kingston Trio Capitol T0996], the Folk Singers [‘58, Run Come Hear Elektra EKL-157], Brickman, Weissberg & Company [‘63, New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass Elektra EKS-7238], Eric Weissberg [in Deliverance].
Hard Times (Stephen Foster, 1855) “Hard Times (Come Again No More)” was recorded by the Graham Brothers [‘32?; it is not listed in the Russell discography but is the title song on a Yazoo CD compilation]. It has been recorded by Jennifer Warnes [‘79, Shot Through the Heart], the Red Clay Ramblers [‘81, Hard Times Flying Fish FF-246], Mary Black [‘88, Collected], Kate McGarrigle [‘91, Songs of the Civil War Columbia], and Emmylou Harris [‘91, At the Ryman].
Step It Up and Go (Rev. Gary Davis) Blind Boy Fuller [‘40, Vocalion 05476], Brownie McGhee as Blind Boy Fuller #2 [‘41, “Step It Up and Go No. 2”, Okeh 06698], the Maddox Brothers and Rose [‘51, “New Step It Up and Go”, 4 Star 1549], Doc Watson [‘68, Doc Watson in Nashville: Good Deal! Vanguard VSD 79276]
Tomorrow Night Much-recorded blues ballad standard, originating with Horace Heidt’s sweet dance band [12/39, Columbia 35203], made popular as an R&B hit in 1948 by the famous blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson [2/48, King 4201]. (See above under Elvis Presley for more versions.]
Arthur McBride 19th century lyrics by E.W. Doyle were fashioned into a song by Carrie Grover, recorded by Martin Carthy, with Dave Swarbrick [‘69, “Arthur McBride and the Sargeant”, Prince Heathen Fontana 5529]; also recorded by Planxty [‘73].
You're Gonna Quit Me Blind Blake [‘27, “You Gonna Quit Me Baby Blues” Paramount 12597].
Diamond Joe Cisco Houston [‘52, Cowboy Ballads Folklore], Rambling Jack Elliott [‘64], Tom Rush [‘65]
Froggie Went a Courtin' A children’s song recorded by Bradley Kincaid [‘28, Gennett 6462], Chubby Parker [as “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O”, ‘28 Columbia 15296-D and ‘31, Champion 16211], Anna & Julietta Canova [‘28, “Frog Went A-Courtin’, Brunswick 264] and Jimmy Wakely [‘41, Decca 5995].
WORLD GONE WRONG (1993)
World Gone Wrong Mississippi Sheiks [‘31, “The World Is Going Wrong” Okeh 14660-D]
Love Henry (trad.) “Henry Lee” by Dick Justice [‘29, Brunswick], Darby & Tarlton [“Lowe Henry”], Tom Paley [’65, Tom Paley & Peggy Seeger Elektra EKL 295], Judy Henske [‘63, “Love Henry”]
Ragged & Dirty William Brown [‘42, LOC recording]
Blood In My Eyes Mississippi Sheiks [‘31, “I’ve Got Blood In My Eyes For You” Okeh 14660-D]
Broke Down Engine Lonnie Clark [‘29, Paramount]; Blind Willie McTell [‘31, “Broke Down Engine Blues”, a faster remake of his ‘29 “Drive Away Blues” with added verses from Clark].
Delia (trad., collected by Howard Odum around 1907) “One More Rounder Gone” by Reese Dupree [’24, Okeh]; other recordings include Nassau String Band [’35, “Delia’s Gone”], Blind Willie McTell [‘40, “Delia”, Lomax recording for LOC], Lead belly [“Delia”], Rev. Gary Davis [‘50s, “Delia], and as “Delia’s Gone”: Blind Blake Riggs (from Bahamas)[‘52], Harry Belafonte [‘54], Paul Clayton [‘56, Bloody Ballads Riverside RLP 12-615], Bob Gibson [‘56], Merle Travis [‘60], Burl Ives [‘61], Johnny Cash [‘62 and again ‘94], Kingston Trio[‘63, “One More Round”], Will Holt [‘63, “Delia”] and more.
Stack a Lee Frank Hutchinson's version
Two Soldiers (trad.) Carl T. Sprague [‘27, Victor], Maureen Gravedon & Family [‘37, LOC recording], Mike Seeger [’64, Mike Seeger Vanguard VRS-9150]. Dylan learned it from Jerry Garcia [‘91, Jerry Garcia & David Grisman, Acoustic Disc AC-2]
Jack-a-Roe (trad.) Tom Paley [‘53, Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians Elektra EKL-12], A.L. Lloyd [‘5?, “Jackie Monroe” English Street Songs Riverside RLP 12-614], Burl Ives [‘59, Ballads United Artists UAL 3060], Ewan MacColl [‘61], Joan Baez [‘63], Pete Seeger [’66, Dangerous Songs? Columbia CL 2503], Jerry Garcia & David Grisman [‘96, Shady Grove Acoustic Disc ACD 21] Also known as “Jack Monroe” and “Jack the Sailor”
Lone Pilgrim (B.F. White, Adger M. Pace) A shape-note song - lyrics by Elder John Ellis, 1838. Published versions include “Lone Pilgrim“ written by William Walker in 1847 or 1866. “The White Pilgrim“ written in 1911 by B.F. White Recorded as “The Tombs“ X.C. Sacred Quartet [’27, Paramount 3034], “Lonely Tombs” by Wade Mainer & Sons of the Mountaineers [‘38, Bluebird B-7424], , “Lonely Tombs” by J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers [‘46, King 661], “Oh Those Tombs” by the Blue Sky Boys [‘65, Presenting the Blue Sky Boys Capitol ST2483], Aunt Molly Jackson [‘39, LOC? Not listed in Russell discography], Doc Watson [‘63, The Doc Watson Family Folkways FA 2366]. Watson’s version in to the tune “The Braes of Balquhidder”, but it is also known to the tune “Lily Dale.”
LOVE AND THEFT (2001)
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum is said to be based on Johnny & Jack “Uncle John’s Bongos” [‘61, Decca 31289].