Song of the Day #4,839: ‘Crash On the Levee (Down in the Flood)’ – Bob Dylan

Today’s random track was recorded by Bob Dylan and The Band in 1967, as part of the casual sessions that were eventually released on 1975’s The Basement Tapes. Before that release, an alternate version of the song appeared on Dylan’s second greatest hits collection in 1971.

In much different form, and titled simply ‘Down in the Flood,’ this song was recorded by both The Derek Trucks Band and Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Of all those versions, this ramshackle recording remains my favorite. I’ve always loved the drunken, thrown-together vibe of The Basement Tapes.

Note: Once again, I am thrilled to see a Bob Dylan song available on YouTube. It appears his entire catalog has been uploaded to the platform as part of his selling off the publication rights.

Crash on the levee, mama
Water’s gonna overflow
Swamp’s gonna rise
No boat’s gonna row
Now, you can train on down
To Williams Point
You can bust your feet
You can rock this joint
But oh mama, ain’t you gonna miss your best friend now?
You’re gonna have to find yourself
Another best friend, somehow

Now, don’t you try an’ move me
You’re just gonna lose
There’s a crash on the levee
And mama, you’ve been refused
Well, it’s sugar for sugar
And salt for salt
If you go down in the flood
It’s gonna be your own fault
Oh mama, ain’t you gonna miss your best friend now?
You’re gonna have to find yourself
Another best friend, somehow

Well, that high tide’s risin’
Mama, don’t you let me down
Pack up your suitcase
Mama, don’t you make a sound
Now, it’s king for king
Queen for queen
It’s gonna be the meanest flood
That anybody’s seen
Oh mama, ain’t you gonna miss your best friend now?
You’re gonna have to find yourself
Another best friend, somehow

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,839: ‘Crash On the Levee (Down in the Flood)’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m not familiar with this song in any version.

  2. Reb says:

    My first 3 album purchases (say, 1971?) were Jesus Christ Superstar, Aqualung, and Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume II, so this song will always bring me back to my high school years. Good times…at least the music part of it!

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