Song of the Day #812: ‘Dreamin’ Of You’ – Bob Dylan

Time Out of Mind is without question one of Dylan’s finest albums of the last few decades, but the tracks on Telltale Signs that were left off the album could have combined to make it the best by a mile.

One of those is ‘Red River Shore,’ which I mentioned yesterday. Another is ‘Marchin’ to the City,’ a passionate blues number.

And Dylan’s classic ‘Mississippi,’ which eventually found a home on Love and Theft, was originally recorded in a much different form for Time Out of Mind.

Telltale Signs contains two versions of ‘Mississippi,’ both slower and more hushed than the album cut and both different enough that it’s safe to call the group of them three of the best songs Dylan has ever written and recorded.

Actually, a fourth version of ‘Mississippi’ shows up on the rare third Telltale Signs disc. That group of songs was available only in a special edition that cost close to $100, meaning you’d have to pony up about $85 for 12 songs. To add insult to injury, most of those 12 songs were simply alternate versions of the songs on the first two discs. Kind of a dick move by Dylan, if you ask me. I settled for the 2-disc set.

‘Dreamin’ Of You’ is another of the tracks that didn’t make it onto Time Out of Mind, and it’s a great one. It’s more produced and more modern than the rest of the tracks I’ve been discussing, and it’s a really good sound for Dylan.

The light in this place is really bad
Like being at the bottom of a stream
Any minute now
I’m expecting to wake up from a dream

Means so much, the softest touch
By the grave of some child, who neither wept or smiled
I pondered my faith in the rain
I’ve been dreamin’ of you, that’s all I do
And it’s driving me insane

Somewhere dawn is breaking
Light is streaking ‘cross the floor
Church bells are ringing
I wonder who they’re ringing for

Travel under any star
You’ll see me wherever you are
The shadowy past is awake and so vast
I’m sleeping in the palace of pain
I’ve been dreamin’ of you, that’s all I do
But it’s driving me insane

Maybe they’ll get me, maybe they won’t
But whatever it won’t be tonight
I wish your hand was in mine right now
We could go where the moon is white

For years they had me locked in a cage
Then they threw me onto the stage
Some things just last longer than you thought they would
And they never, ever explain
I’ve been dreamin’ of you, that’s all I do
And it’s driving me insane

Well, I eat when I’m hungry, drink when I’m dry
Live my life on the square
Even if the flesh falls off my face
It won’t matter, long as you’re there

Feel like a ghost in love
Underneath the heavens above
Feel further away than I ever did before
Feel further than I can take
Dreamin’ of you is all I do
But it’s driving me insane

Everything in the way is so shiny today
A queer and unusual fall
Spirals of golden haze, here and there in a blaze
Like beams of light in the storm

Maybe you were here and maybe you weren’t
Maybe you touched somebody and got burnt
The silent sun has got me on the run
Burning a hole in my brain
I’m dreamin’ of you, that’s all I do
But it’s driving me insane

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #812: ‘Dreamin’ Of You’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Dana says:

    Okay, Mister! I’m calling out the ranking police, as you have now used phrases like “this may be amongst the best (versions, songs, albums, etc)” one too many times over these neverending Dylan weekends.

    You are hereby sentenced to create your list of top ten Dylan albums and songs (inclusive of ALL releases, “bootlegs” too, and specific to a version, no cheating by saying “Mississippi” in all of its collective forms). These lists shall be posted on the last day of your Dylan weekend series, which by my estimation, should be around November 2012.

    Oh, and a real Dylan fan would (a) never refer to the man as a “dick” and (b) would take food from his hungry child’s plate to pay whatever was asked for the 3rd disc containing the 13th alternate version of a song you own in 12 other formats and would say to the store clerk, “Can I pay more, sir? Me lord is so kind and gracious to release to his humble servants every morsel, every outtake he ever recorded, wholly without motive of greed or monetary gain, but rather entirely in keeping with the social conscience and values he espoused in the 60’s Quiet that grumbling in your belly, little Fiona, your dada is trying to talk to the store clerk!”

    Oh, good song btw:)

  2. CelticFan96 says:

    I think any true Dylan would know that Dylan can be a giant dick, but we love him anyway.

    I do agree that this phrase: “it’s safe to call the group of them three of the best songs Dylan has ever written and recorded” makes little sense.

    Picking the best Dylan song is far from a safe bet because there are so many great songs and so many more opinions.

    Nevertheless, this is a fun project to check in on now and again. And “Dreaming of You” is an incredible late-release.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.