Song of the Day #555: ‘You’re No Good’ – Bob Dylan

It didn’t take me long to decide which artist would pick up the weekend mantle now that I’ve retired the Beatles Weekends. I wanted a) a legend, b) somebody who has recorded enough songs to provide ample fodder for the blog, and c) somebody whose songs would lend themselves to both musical and historic analysis.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Dylan Weekends.

Through 554 songs on this blog, I’ve featured Bob Dylan nine times. Seven of those were tracks from his Bootleg albums and one was from his recent Christmas album. Which means I’ve made it a year and a half featuring just one proper studio release by Dylan. That doesn’t seem right. But rest assured, I’ll make up for it in the coming weeks.

As I did with The Beatles, I’m starting this series off with the very first song on the very first album by Mr. Dylan.

That would be ‘You’re No Good,’ a song written by blues man Jesse Fuller, who was 66 when a 21-year-old Dylan released his self-titled debut in 1962. For all of the lyrical ingenuity, musical experimentation and shattering of conventions Dylan would ultimately be responsible for, this angry little folk-blues number captures so much of what he’s always been about.

Well I don’t know why I love you like I do
Nobody in the world can get along with you
You got the ways of a devil sleeping in a lion’s den
I come home last night you wouldn’t even let me in

Well sometimes you’re as sweet as anybody want to be
When you get a crazy notion of jumpin’ all over me
Well you give me the blues I guess you’re satisfied
An’ you give me the blues I wanna lay down and die

I helped you when you had no shoes on your feet, pretty mama
I helped you when you had no food to eat
You’re the kind of woman I just don’t understand
You’re takin’ all my money and give it to another man

Well you’re the kinda woman makes a man lose his brain
You’re the kinda woman drives a man insane
You give me the blues, I guess you’re satisfied
You give me the blues, I wanna lay down and die

Well you give me the blues, I wanna lay down and die

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #555: ‘You’re No Good’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Amy says:

    I didn’t realize Bob Dylan recorded any song he didn’t write. I think of him as a songwriter far more than as a singer (can’t imagine why :)) Still, I’m very much looking forward to all I’m certain to learn during these Dylan weekends as much as I’m looking forward to enjoying some great music.

  2. Clay says:

    His debut album was made up almost entirely of covers. After that he stuck almost entirely to his own work, although in the 90s he put out two albums of folk covers and just last year he released the Christmas album.

  3. Dana says:

    I appreciate kicking off with the first song from the first album, but since it was a cover, I think I would have probably gone with the better known and perhaps more representative of things to come “Song for Woody.”

    Anyway, I too am looking forward to learning more about Dylan, and I am particularly looking forward to Alex’s comments as she broadens her appreciation of Dylan’s music:)

  4. Amy says:

    I disagree. I think it’s quite fascinating that the very first song on the very first album was a cover. Especially since Clay says that most of the others were as well. That provides just the kind of detail that I love discovering in these theme weeks and weekends. If Clay picked one of only a couple of original songs off the debut album, it would be implicitly suggesting that those were typical of everything else on it. And I’d still ignorantly believe that, other than the odd Christmas tune, Dylan never sings covers.

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