Song of the Day #1,668: ‘Mississippi (Alternate Take)’ – Bob Dylan

telltale_signsHere’s a nice little palate cleanser after yesterday’s Christina Aguilera electro-pop atrocity.

‘Mississippi’ is one of Bob Dylan’s greatest achievements, and thanks to the wonder of his Bootleg Series, fans now have no fewer than four versions from which to choose (not counting Sheryl Crow’s cover).

Today’s song, the first track on the three-disc Tell Tale Signs album, might just be my favorite of them all. While the official studio release of ‘Mississippi’ is rather upbeat, this delicate acoustic version really finds the song’s melancholy center.

Every step of the way we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin’ up, we struggle and we scrape
We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escape
City’s just a jungle; more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, tryin’ to get away
I was raised in the country, I been workin’ in the town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down

Got nothin’ for you, I had nothin’ before
Don’t even have anything for myself anymore
Sky full of fire, pain pourin’ down
Nothing you can sell me, I’ll see you around

All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well, the devil’s in the alley, mule’s in the stall
Say anything you wanna, I have heard it all
I was thinkin’ ’bout the things that Rosie said
I was dreaming I was sleepin’ in Rosie’s bed

Walkin’ through the leaves, falling from the trees
Feelin’ like a stranger nobody sees
So many things that we never will undo
I know you’re sorry, I’m sorry too

Some people will offer you their hand and some won’t
Last night I knew you, tonight I don’t
I need somethin’ strong to distract my mind
I’m gonna look at you ’til my eyes go blind

Well I got here followin’ the southern star
I crossed that river just to be where you are
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well my ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinkin’ fast
I’m drownin’ in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free
I’ve got nothin’ but affection for all those who’ve sailed with me

Everybody movin’ if they ain’t already there
Everybody got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interestin’ right about now

My clothes are wet, tight on my skin
Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in
I know that fortune is waitin’ to be kind
So give me your hand and say you’ll be mine

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long


About these ads

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,668: ‘Mississippi (Alternate Take)’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Dana says:

    I must confess to not knowing this song ai.all, not in any version, not by Cheryl Crow.

    Actually, now that I got to the chorus, it sounds vaguely familiar.

    Anyway, very good song. Need to check out the studio version….

  2. Felix Culper says:

    Genius, asks open questions, seeds the universal regret… why is it a day too long? an existential love song that doesn’t mention love once

  3. Peter says:

    Tell Tale Signs is one of my most listened to albums.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s