I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)


I Don’t Believe You is another in a long line of ‘somebody done me wrong’ songs’, a theme Dylan has returned to many times over the years in such songs as Absolutely Sweet Marie, Like a Rolling Stone, Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, to name a few. Maybe he’s too sensitive or maybe he’s had more than his fair share of bad relationships. From reading the biographies, it would seem that he might not be such a prince himself. Maybe he protests a bit too much.

I Don’t Believe You is primarily built on short, simple words and phrases. Dylan barks them out in a staccato fashion, biting off the end of each word. The sound of his voice, not so much the meaning of the words, informs us of the intended meaning. A good example is how he sings the phrase “I’ll turn and hide”. We understand the intended sarcasm from the sound of the line, not the words.

The performance of this song on Another Side does not do it justice. First of all, Dylan giggles at one point, which is endearing in a song like My Back Pages, but doesn’t work with this bitter verse. Also, armed only with acoustic instruments and without a band, there’s no way for Dylan to use the music to dramatically echo the anger of the lyrics. It needs a rock band, and the vocal has to be angry and howled. Dylan got it right when he did it with the Hawks on Live 1966. He howls in pain as Garth Hudson’s organ swirls.

Dylan also performed a more middle-of-the-road version on the Rolling Thunder tours. A live version was also released on the soundtrack (CD) of the great documentary of The Band‘s last concert, The Last Waltz. The performance is not on the concert DVD.

An acoustic perfomormance.


I can’t understand,
She let go of my hand
An’ left me here facing the wall.
I’d sure like t’ know
Why she did go,
But I can’t get close t’ her at all.
Though we kissed through the wild blazing nighttime,
She said she would never forget.
But now mornin’s clear,
It’s like I ain’t here,
She just acts like we never have met.

It’s all new t’ me,
Like some mystery,
It could even be like a myth.
Yet it’s hard t’ think on,
That she’s the same one
That last night I was with.
From darkness, dreams’re deserted,
Am I still dreamin’ yet?
I wish she’d unlock
Her voice once an’ talk,
‘Stead of acting like we never have met.

If she ain’t feelin’ well,
Then why don’t she tell
‘Stead of turnin’ her back t’ my face?
Without any doubt,
She seems too far out
For me t’ return t’ her chase.
Though the night ran swirling an’ whirling,
I remember her whispering yet.
But evidently she don’t
An’ evidently she won’t,
She just acts like we never have met.

If I didn’t have t’ guess,
I’d gladly confess
T’ anything I might’ve tried.
If I was with ‘er too long
Or have done something wrong,
I wish she’d tell me what it is, I’ll run an’ hide.
Though her skirt it swayed as a guitar played,
Her mouth was watery and wet.
But now something has changed
For she ain’t the same,
She just acts like we never have met.

I’m leavin’ today,
I’ll be on my way
Of this I can’t say very much.
But if you want me to,
I can be just like you
An’ pretend that we never have touched.
An’ if anybody asks me, “Is it easy to forget?”
I’ll say, “It’s easily done,
You just pick anyone,
An’ pretend that you never have met!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top