Song of the Day #805: ‘I Was Young When I Left Home (Home Recording)’ – Bob Dylan

As I mentioned yesterday, Volume 7 is in some ways the weakest of the Bootleg Series because it falls back mostly on songs that are already known.

In fact, it breaks a cardinal rule of bootlegs in general by including material that has already been released — Dylan’s ‘Song to Woody,’ which appeared in the same form on his debut album, and the live Royal Albert Hall versions of ‘Ballad of a Thin Man’ and ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ which had not only been released but been released on this same Bootleg Series just two volumes back.

I suppose that, because this release served as a soundtrack to Scorsese’s No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, it was appropriate that it include those moments which played such a big part in the film’s narrative. But as a standalone album, it felt like a bit of a cheat.

That said, a couple of rare tracks stand out as exactly the sort of thing the Bootleg Series was meant for. ‘Dink’s Song’ and today’s SOTD, ‘I Was Young When I Left Home,’ were recorded in a friend’s Minneapolis apartment (along with 24 other tracks that haven’t been officially released).

Here’s a glimpse of Dylan between the debut album that failed to set the world on fire and his second album which would do exactly that.

I was young when I left home
But I been out a-ramblin’ ‘round
And I never wrote a letter to my home
To my home, Lord, to my home
And I never wrote a letter to my home

It was just the other day
I was bringing home my pay
When I met an old friend I used to know

Said your mother’s dead and gone
Baby sister’s all gone wrong
And your daddy needs you home right away

Not a shirt on my back
Not a penny on my name
Well I can’t go home thisaway
Thisaway, Lord, Lord, Lord
And I can’t go home thisaway

If you miss the train I’m on
Count the days I’m gone
You will hear that whistle blow a hundred miles
A hundred miles, honey baby. Lord Lord Lord
And you’ll hear that whistle blow a hundred miles

I’m playing on a track
Ma would come and whoop me back
On them trestles down by old Jim McKay’s

When I pay the debt I owe
To the commissary store
I will pawn my watch and chain and go home
Go home, Lord Lord Lord
I will pawn my watch and chain and go home

Used to tell Ma sometimes
When I see them riding blinds
Gonna make me a home out in the wind
In the wind, Lord in the wind
Make me a home out in the wind

I don’t like it in the wind
Wanna go back home again
But I can’t go home thisaway
Thisaway, Lord Lord Lord
And I can’t go home thisaway

I was young when I left home
And I been out rambling ‘round
And I never wrote a letter to my home
To my home, Lord Lord Lord
And I never wrote a letter to my home

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One thought on “Song of the Day #805: ‘I Was Young When I Left Home (Home Recording)’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Dana says:

    well, with 24 more unreleased tracks from that session alone, I suppose the record company will be milking this bootleg series through Volume 20. Frankly, at this point the word “bootleg” needs to be dropped as this series seems to have lost that status many volumes ago.

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