See That My Grave is Kept Clean

Commentary

The album ends with a cover of a Blind Lemon Jefferson song . According to the allmusic web site (which is awesome btw), Jefferson was the first commercially successful male blues performer. Jefferson was a major influence on Dylan favorites Leadbelly and Lightnin’ Hopkins.

Ironically, nobody paid much attention to his plea in the song’s title – he was buried in an unmarked grave. Years later a tombstone was placed at the approximate location of the original. Hopefully the site is well-tended.

This song, like several others on Dylan’s first recording, was a standard among the sixties folk revivalists. It was included on the Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, a collection of folk songs that influenced many sixties folk singers, including Dylan.

Dylan also recorded the song during The Basement Tapes period. It can be found on the bootleg The Genuine Basement Tapes.

 

 

A cover by Mike Bloomfield, guitarist extraordinaire who contributed greatly the Highway 61 album.

Dylan’s early mentor, Dave Van Ronk.

I like this one a lot.

Lightnin’  Hopkins’ cover.

The King.

A cover by Lou  Reed.

 


Lyrics

Well there’s one kind of favor I’ll ask for you
Well there’s one kind of favor I’ll ask for you
There’s just one kind of favor I’ll ask for you
You can see that my grave is kept clean.

And there’s two white horses following me
And there’s two white horses following me
I got two white horses following me
Waiting on my burying ground.

Did you ever hear that coffin sound
Did you ever hear that coffin sound
Did you ever hear that coffin sound
Means another poor boy is underground.

Did you ever hear them church bells toll
Did you ever hear them church bells toll
Did you ever hear them church bells toll
Means another poor boy is dead and gone.

And my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
And my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
And my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
Now I believe what the Bible told.

There’s just one last favor I’ll ask for you
And there’s one last favor I’ll ask for you
There’s just one last favor I’ll ask for you
See that my grave is kept clean.

 

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