Thursday, August 11, 2005

Thursday Lyrics: Don't think twice, it's all right

This is one of the finest bitter breakup verses. Reminds me of someone...

I grew up with the Joan Baez version, and I got to see her do this song in concert once. This is one of the only songs Bob Dylan wrote, though, that I think he really does well. Nobody does a Bob Dylan imitation like Joan Baez, because of the history between them, but David Massengill comes pretty close.

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
by Bob Dylan

It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don't matter, anyhow
An' it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don't know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I'll be gone
You're the reason I'm trav'lin' on
Don't think twice, it's all right

It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An' it ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
I'm on the dark side of the road
Still I wish there was somethin' you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin' anyway
So don't think twice, it's all right

It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
Like you never did before
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
I can't hear you any more
I'm a-thinkin' and a-wond'rin' all the way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I'm told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don't think twice, it's all right

I'm walkin' down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I'm bound, I can't tell
But goodbye's too good a word, gal
So I'll just say fare thee well
I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right

(the index of other lyrics and poetry I've posted is here)


Anonymous said...

While I'm not a big fan of Dylan, I'd have to say that your comment that he only performs a few of his songs well is RIDICULOUS.

Throughout his career people have disected his singing, etc. ad nauseum- but the fact remains
that his style of performing remains inseperable from his songs.

Contrast Dylan with Joan Baez: the very reason he demolished her enshrinement as Queen of the Relm is that her VERY controlled, practiced vibratto belied everything about her that was NOT folk. Here comes Dylan with his superior poetry and a much rawer, more vital style- not to mention his insolence and his bomb throwing...

The right vehicle at the right time. It's folk music, for god sakes!

Ahistoricality said...

Essentialist claptrap. The idea that folk music must be sung poorly -- with more energy than skill -- is, in itself, evidence that you don't actually know much about the history of music.

The idea that Dylan somehow "demolished" Baez is pretty wierd, frankly, given both of their careers. Dylan stopped making anything like folk music decades ago, not to mention taking a diva-like solo position entirely at odds with any kind of folkish tradition; Baez has become one of the great mentors of the field, and her voice has gotten richer (better is subjective; I love her voice in all its incarnations) with the years.

And there's any number of people who perform Dylan songs as well or better than he does without mimicking his "rawer" (i.e. often incomprehensible) style.