Song of the Day #1,794: ‘Lonesome Day Blues’ – Bob Dylan

loveandtheftI have never and will never tire of Bob Dylan’s Love and Theft. This is one of the very best albums by one of the very best singer-songwriters in popular music history.

While the album features a few structurally complex songs, as well as a couple of delicate melodies tailor made for an old-school crooner, it’s hard to beat the straight-up blues bruisers like today’s SOTD.

Dylan’s voice is the subject of many a joke, and understandably so, but I can’t imagine anybody else singing ‘Lonesome Day Blues’ with this kind of passion or attitude.

Every one of these verses concludes with a turn of phrase that simply demands to be snarled in his unique, gravelly cadence.

Well, today has been a sad ol’ lonesome day
Yeah, today has been a sad ol’ lonesome day
I’m just sittin’ here thinking
With my mind a million miles away

Well, they’re doing the double shuffle, throwin’ sand on the floor
They’re doing the double shuffle, they’re throwin’ sand on the floor
When I left my long-time darlin’
She was standing in the door

Well, my pa he died and left me, my brother got killed in the war
Well, my pa he died and left me, my brother got killed in the war
My sister, she ran off and got married
Never was heard of any more

Samantha Brown lived in my house for about four or five months
Samantha Brown lived in my house for about four or five months
Don’t know how it looked to other people
I never slept with her even once

Well, the road’s washed out—weather not fit for man or beast
Yeah the road’s washed out—weather not fit for man or beast
Funny, how the things you have the hardest time parting with
Are the things you need the least

I’m forty miles from the mill—I’m droppin’ it into overdrive
I’m forty miles from the mill—I’m droppin’ it into overdrive
Settin’ my dial on the radio
I wish my mother was still alive

I see your lover-man comin’—comin’ ’cross the barren field
I see your lover-man comin’—comin’ ’cross the barren field
He’s not a gentleman at all—he’s rotten to the core
He’s a coward and he steals

Well my captain he’s decorated—he’s well schooled and he’s skilled
My captain, he’s decorated—he’s well schooled and he’s skilled
He’s not sentimental—don’t bother him at all
How many of his pals have been killed

Last night the wind was whisperin’, I was trying to make out what it was
Last night the wind was whisperin’ somethin’—I was trying to make out what it was
I tell myself something’s comin’
But it never does

I’m gonna spare the defeated—I’m gonna speak to the crowd
I’m gonna spare the defeated, boys, I’m going to speak to the crowd
I am goin’ to teach peace to the conquered
I’m gonna tame the proud

Well the leaves are rustlin’ in the wood—things are fallin’ off of the shelf
Leaves are rustlin’ in the wood—things are fallin’ off the shelf
You gonna need my help, sweetheart
You can’t make love all by yourself

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,794: ‘Lonesome Day Blues’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Dana says:

    Your video says,” This video contains content from SME, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.” Look how the Costa Rican people are being deprived of Dylan’s craggy voice!😄

    I don’t adore this album the way you do, though I am also less familiar than you are. For me, it is Blood on the Tracks for which I will never tire.

  2. pegclifton says:

    His voice is perfect for this song–love this music

  3. Andrea Katz says:

    I’m with the Dane on Blood on the Tracks. Nothing much after Rolling Thunder Review ever captured me like what came before.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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.