Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Classic Tunes Download of the Day

Label of the original 45 rpm single version of Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues (1965)

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows…

This week’s Classic Tunes download of the week dials back to 1965, and what many rock music afficionados consider to be the best days of Bob Dylan’s career.

Subterranean Homesick Blues is certainly one of his most recognizable and characteristic hit songs, if not quite so iconic as Like a Rolling Stone. It has become all the more famous – even notorious – over the decades since its release, thanks to the amazing “cue cards” video that has inspired imitations, spoofs, and tributes by hundreds of video makers, both famous and insignificant.

If you don’t already know and own this great recording, the best way to get it today is in the Essential Bob Dylan collection. This set includes a good take on the 30 all-time most loved and important Dylan recordings, at a bargain price.

The Essential Bob Dylan – Listen and Download Now

If you’re more interested in accurate context, then by all means go for the album this track appeared on originally: Bringing It All Back Home. That way you’ll be getting some amazing tracks not included in Essential, including the incredible Love Minus Zero / No Limit.

Now here, just for fun, is one of the more unusual responses to the Subterranean Homesick Blues video…

Johnny’s in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I’m on the pavement
Thinkin’ ’bout the government

Man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says, he’s got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off

Look out kid
It’s somethin’ you did
God knows when
But you’re doin’ it again

Better duck down the alley way
Lookin’ for a new friend
Man in the coon-skip cap, in the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, you’ve only got ten

Maggie comes fleet foot, face full of black soot
Talkin’ that the heat put, plants in the bed
But the phone’s tapped anyway

Maggie says, that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D.A

Look out kid
Don’t matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don’t try, don’t try no dose

Better stay away from those
Carry ’round a fire hose
Keep a clean nose, watch the plain clothes
To know which way the wind blows

Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring a bell, hard to tell
It’s gonna tell

Try hard, gettin’ barred
Get back, write Braille
Get in jail, jump bail
Join the army if you failed

Look out kid
It’s somethin’ you did
God knows when
But you’re doin’ it again

Better duck down the alley way
Lookin’ for a new friend
Man in the coon-skip cap, in the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, you only got ten

The man in a coon-skip cap, in the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, you only got ten

– Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Plays Loose with the Lyrics of his Subterranean Homesick Blues


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