I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You

A little gem. This song reminds me of the simple, pop-ditty style Dylan, althought not know for, has produced throughout his career. Songs like To Make You Feel My Love and If Not For You. Simplistic, easy rhymes, puppy-love sentiments, late-fifties radio friendly. They should like he secretly wants to be Billy Joel’s younger brother. This one has all that – and more – I give it five stars.

The most compelling aspect of the song: who is Dylan addressing to song to? A decent argument can be made that it’s a girl, as a song like this would typically be written for. (Or actually, now that I think about it, a man. She wants to “give herself to him.”) Another idea, perhaps it’s the author’s muse, his inspiration, similar to Mr. Tambourine Man. It could also be Jesus. The song has a definite spiritual aspect. He mentions the “gospel of love”, and Jesus also fits as the “traveling man.” The narrator is hoping the “gods go easy on him”. Of course there is no absolute answer, so make of it as you will.

“On the wings of a snow white dove” is definitely a reference to the spiritual made famous the country star Ferlin Husky. Recorded in 1960, Husky’s version of Bob Ferguson’s song was number one on the country charts for ten weeks. The Stanley Brothers also covered it. Dylan covered it during the period of the Never Ending Tour during the period he was doing a lot of bluegrass covers.

Lyrics

Sitting on my terrace lost in the stars
Listenin’ to the sounds of the sad guitars
Been thinking it over and I thought it all through
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

I saw the first fall of snow
I saw the flowers come and go
I don’t think anyone else ever knew
I made up my mind to give myself to you

I’m giving myself to you, I am
From Salt Lake City to Birmingham
From East L.A. to San Antone
I don’t think I could bear to live my life alone

My eye is like a shooting star
It looks at nothing, neither near or far
No one ever told me, it’s just something I knew
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

If I had the wings of a snow white dove
I’d preach the gospel, the gospel of love
A love so real – a love so true
I made up my mind to give myself to you

Take me out traveling, you’re a traveling man
Show me something that I’ll understand
I’m not what I was, things aren’t what they were
I’m going to go far away from home with her

I traveled the long road of despair
I met no other traveler there
A lot of people gone, a lot of people I knew
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

My heart’s like a river – a river that sings
It just takes me a while to realize things
I’ll see you at sunrise – I’ll see you at dawn
I’ll lay down beside you, when everyone is gone

From the plains and the prairies – from the mountains to the sea
I hope that the gods go easy with me
I knew you’d say yes – I’m saying it too
I’ve made up my mind to give myself to you

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