| re

It Ain’t Me, Babe

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Commentary

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 1 After the low of Ballad in Plain D, Dylan rights the ship with the next song, one of his all-time classics. The title says it all really. The narrator is telling someone – in no uncertain terms – that he is not the person she is looking for. He thinks she is not looking for a lover but rather a personal servant, someone who will “open each and every door” and “come each time [she] calls”. Each line defines a little more what he thinks is wrong with her twisted definition of  a relationship.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Michael Gray points out that the lyrics follow the general pattern of many blues songs, in particular, how they often employ the phrase “Go away from my window / door / kitchen /whatever” at the beginning of each verse. An example of this style of lyrics can be found in Sleepy John EstesDrop Down Mama.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Go away from my window
Stop scratchin’ round my screen
You’re so evil woman
And I know what you mean

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0  

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 Tim Riley thanks It Ain’t Me, Babe is one of Dylan’s most “flexible” songs, citing that Dylan’s furious vocal and musical performance  on Before the Flood (done with The Band), which  “adds just the right amount of ‘gall’ to the song”.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 1 Riley was not the first to note the way Dylan sings a lyric and arranges the music can significantly change a song’s meaning. Betsy Bowden, in her seminal Dylan work, Performed Literature, which was published in the late sixties, was the first to my knowledge to write at length on this subject. Bowden devotes nineteen pages of her book to this particular song, and does a masterful job of dissecting every nuance of the lyrics, the music, and most importantly, the various and varied ways that Dylan has performed the song and in the process gave it new meanings. In my opinion Performed Literature is required reading for all serious Dylan fans. Bowden is a scholar, and the text does contain a bit of jargon that is sometimes impenetrable, but still worth it. It’s a shame that she never updated it.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 Dylan seems to enjoy messing around with this song. On Another Side he performs the song in a fairly straightforward manner. The tone is sympathetic to the feeling of “Babe”. On Live 1964 he performs the song as a duet with Joan Baez. He turns it into a playful little ditty, as if he were cajoling a lover to consider changing her ways. On Before the Flood, the heat of his vocal and the roar of The Band change the song to something like “IT AIN’T ME, BABE – YOU STUPID BITCH”. The tone becomes self-congratulatory. The listener gets the idea that the song is no longer aimed at a lover, but instead is a celebration of a victory over the critics and fans that wanted Dylan to do their bidding. On Real Live, he gives the song a more sympathetic reading, as if he were trying to make a very dense woman understand that the relationship is just not going to work. It becomes “It Ain’t Me, Babe – Can’t You See This Just Doesn’t Make It?”. 

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 It’s not hard to understand why Dylan has been the most bootlegged artist in history. He not only performs songs: he often evolves them into something akin to a brand new song. (By the way, for an interesting reading on the history of bootlegs, which Dylan has played an important role, see Clinton Heylin’s excellent Bootleg: The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry.)

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 Time for some trivia. Sonny Bono, of the duo Sonny and Cher, based his smash hit I Got You, Babe on It Ain’t  Me, Babe. It would also seem that Bono got the title for another hit, I Just Wanna Be Friends With You, from Dylan’s All I Really Want To Do. Tiny Tim, the well-know sixties icon who played the ukulele and sang with an utterly weird falsetto, did a version of I Got You, Babe that can be found on the Dylan bootleg, Bob Dylan, Tiny Tim & The Band Down In The Basement.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 Peter Stone Brown, writing on rec.music.dylan, posted some interesting information concerning the Tiny Tim/Dylan/Sonny and Cher connection.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Tiny Tim visited Woodstock sometime in 1967, more than likely to record part of the soundtrack of the Peter Yarrow movie, “You Are What You Eat” on which he was backed by The Band. Two songs from the session appear on the album, “I Got You Babe” and “Be My Baby” featuring one of the most outrageous screams ever put on record. Tiny Tim recorded a few other songs with The Band, most notably the most preposterous version of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis” ever. These can be found on various Basement Tapes boots. At the time he apparently went to Dylan’s house, and after playing songs for him, he said to him something along the lines of: “Mr. Dylan, you are to music today what Rudy Vallee was in the ’20s.” And according to Tiny, Dylan replied: “Mr. Tim, do you want a banana?”

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 The hit version by The Turtles.

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 A  bit better version by Johnny.

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 Baez sings  it, without irony 🙂

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 The Monkees‘ lead singer.

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0


32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 Lyrics

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 Go ‘way from my window,
Leave at your own chosen speed.
I’m not the one you want, babe,
I’m not the one you need.
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,
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe,
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 Go lightly from the ledge, babe,
Go lightly on the ground.
I’m not the one you want, babe,
I will only let you down.
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who will promise never to part,
Someone to close his eyes for you,
Someone to close his heart,
Someone who will die for you an’ more,
But it ain’t me, babe,
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe,
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 Go melt back into the night, babe,
Everything inside is made of stone.
There’s nothing in here moving
An’ anyway I’m not alone.
You say you’re looking for someone
Who’ll pick you up each time you fall,
To gather flowers constantly
An’ to come each time you call,
A lover for your life an’ nothing more,
But it ain’t me, babe,
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe,
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

Page 51
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

Source: http://www.bobdylancommentaries.com/another-side-of-bob-dylan/it-aint-me-babe/