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Sunday, April 2, 2017

#48: Mt. Rushmore Series (Zimmerman Iteration)

Although I've largely avoided using this long running series as a way to feature music, occasionally something comes along that forces my hand. Learning a Bob Dylan song to perform at a friend's birthday party recently, I repeatedly broke down crying. Figured it was a good time to acknowledge how much Dylan's music has meant to me since my earliest years as a musician.

So, which four Dylan songs would you enshrine on Mt. Rushmore? Mine are listed chronologically and I purposefully avoided using two songs from any album because that felt like cheating. Feel free to ignore that guideline and also to list yours in any order you'd like.

1.) It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - from Bringing It All Back Home: Like many great Dylan songs, a well considered cover version often reminds me to re-visit the original. Bonnie Raitt's take on this early tune is so strong I'm still trying to decide which version works better for me.

2.) Like A Rolling Stone - from Highway 61 Revisited: And then there are songs that never should be covered. Ever.

3.) You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go - from Blood On The Tracks: "But I'll see you in the skies above, in the tall grass, in the ones I love." I clearly recall how much that image floored me when I first heard it in 1976. More than forty years has not diminished its power one iota. As I learned this song for the first time for that party, that lyric kept stopping me cold. Using just one word with more than one syllable, Dylan nails the essence of ... everything. Also: Check out Shawn Colvin's stellar cover of this winner.

4.) To Make You Feel My Love - from Time Out Of Mind: This gem is unusual because Billy Joel's version was released before Dylan's. The song has been widely covered since for good reason - it's a first rate piece of songwriting.  

By the time anyone else tells me which four songs are on their Mt. Zimmerman, my own could be under renovation. No matter; bring them on.

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