Song of the Day #3,322: ‘Girl From the North Country’ – Bob Dylan vs. Counting Crows

Our next Montauk Madness Round Four matchup is a bit unexpected. It’s not a big surprise to see Bob Dylan here, but this is rare air for Counting Crows, who happen to enjoy quite a bit of popularity among my meager readership.

Dylan made it here by dispatching Miranda Lambert, Eminem and R.E.M. Even though I voted for him all three times, the losses of Lambert and R.E.M. hurt me. I wish they’d had an easier path. Counting Crows took out Morrissey, David Bowie and Ben Folds Five. I picked them in the first two rounds before siding with Ben Folds Five, but even that was a close call.

This one, however, is not. Counting Crows are a great band, seriously underrated, but Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan.

Adam Duritz sang “I want to be Bob Dylan” in ‘Mr. Jones,’ the band’s first hit. He’d probably be pleased as punch to face off against him in Round Four of Montauk Madness, whatever the outcome.

Well, if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

Well, if you go when the snowflakes storm
When the rivers freeze and summer ends
Please see if she’s wearing a coat so warm
To keep her from the howlin’ winds

Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
If it rolls and flows all down her breast.
Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
That’s the way I remember her best.

I’m a-wonderin’ if she remembers me at all
Many times I’ve often prayed
In the darkness of my night
In the brightness of my day

So if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

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8 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,322: ‘Girl From the North Country’ – Bob Dylan vs. Counting Crows

  1. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    This week will probably be full of hard decisions of yesterday was any indication. However, I’m very lucky that this one doesn’t give me much trouble at all. Counting Crows is my favorite artist. To go in tandem with a previous comment that I made when I said that just because an artist created the precedent of a genre or a type of music doesn’t mean that when an artist operates in that genre and exceeds the work of that person who created it that they can’t be credited as being better. I think that comment rings true again today. I think there are Adam Duritz lyrics that stand par for par with many of Bob Dylan’s greatest lines. Lyrically I don’t think you could find a contemporary artist who poses as much of a challenge to this classic artist. Vocally Adam Duritz easily wins this competition and though some might find his delivery whiny, I find that he always perfectly captures the emotion of the song with his melody and delivery, whereas Bob Dylan would not be considered by many a good singer. From a musical standpoint I’d say Counting Crows have Dylan beat pretty solidly. They experiment with far more genres than Dylan and pretty much every song has a pretty ridiculously skillful guitar solo and intricate harmonies among the instruments. I suppose it depends on what you define as an artist. But in those 3 areas which I’d say are pretty good guidelines, Counting Crows wins this one easily for me.

  2. Dana says:

    It would be quite safe and easy, and far less controversial, to cast a vote for Dylan here. He is, after all, Bob Dylan, and his legendary status is not one to be trifled with.

    But here’s the thing….this is not about some historical or objective perspective as to who may be the greater artist. This contest is about one’s personal favorites and the truth is, over the past 25 years, I have listened to and enjoyed the Crows’ music more than Dylan’s. Indeed, as I was wrestling with this vote, I thought about my Pandora playlist, which represents a handful of artists I consider my very favorites. The Counting Crows are there, and Bob Dylan is not.

    And so..for me…it’s the Counting Crows.

  3. Madison says:

    Gonna be Counting Crows for me as well, though i’ll be the first to admit I haven’t listened to nearly enough Bob Dylan to make that decision clearly. I think that’s partly because I can’t stand his voice and my dad doesn’t have a Pandora station for him :p

  4. Peg says:

    I can’t even imagine not voting for Dylan unless he was up against Sinatra.

  5. jzsnake says:

    If the 1st time I heard this song it was the Counting Crows version I would not have listened to it a 2nd time. Dylan wins hands down.

    • The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

      I had no idea that Counting Crows did a cover of this song! It’s a truly beautiful rendition. Thank you so much for exposing me to it.

  6. Madison says:

    Ben Folds 5 did not die for this, people.

  7. Amy says:

    I love the Counting Crows and listen to their music far more often than I listen to Bob Dylan, but there is something so simple and powerful about the notion of a young Dylan on a stool on a stage singing his songs that a nation needed to hear to heal that makes it almost impossible for me not to vote for him. If the band I love falls to this legend this late in the game, I suspect they would forgive me for my vote contributing to that result. Here’s hoping my kids will. 😉

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