Dylan’s Winter Days, 2019

71DE4EEF-4834-4546-9E9C-0FE9A512BD1EDylan and His Band performed an amazing set during his 10-run residency at the Beacon Theater, Nov 23-Dec 6, 2019. I was blessed and lucky to be able to attend 3 of the shows, Nov 26, Dec 2, and Dec 6. The band, Bob, and setlist were on point and did not disappoint! Even though, he played the same set all 10 days, it was amazing. There, definitely, is a message in the choice, format and lyrics of this setlist that needs to be deciphered.  The songs represented a retrospective of every decade of his catalog: 5 from the 60s, 3 from the 70s, 1 from the 80s, 3 from the 90s, 4 from the 00s, and 3 from the 10s. What’s next for the 20s?

Here is a breakdown of the songs with the first and last two lines as an epithet, that, I think, capture the essence of the whole winter tour. Imagine each song being sung directly you:

  • Things Have Changed, 1999, 2001 Wonder Boys, [played 975] (Oscar)

    • A worried man with a worried mind — No one in front of me and nothing behind — I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range — I used to care, but things have changed

  • It Ain’t Me, Babe, 1964, Another Side of Bob Dylan, [1070]

    • Go ‘way from your window — Leave at your own chosen speed — No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe — It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

  • Highway 61 Revisited, 1965, Highway 61 Revisited, [2000]

    • Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son” — Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on” — We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun — And have it on Highway 61

  • Simple Twist of Fate, 1974, Blood on the Tracks, [804]

    • They sat together in the park — As the evening sky grew dark — She was born in spring, but I was born too late — Blame it on a simple twist of fate

  • Can’t Wait, 1997, Time Out of Mind, [210]

    • I can’t wait, wait for you to change your mind — It’s late, I’m trying to walk the line — I thought somehow that I would be spared this fate — But I don’t know how much longer I can wait

  • When I Paint My Masterpiece, 1971, Greatest Hits II, [182]

    • Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble — Ancient footprints are everywhere — Someday, everything is gonna be diff’rent — When I paint my masterpiece

  • Honest with Me, 2001, Love and Theft, [739]

    • Well, I’m stranded in the city that never sleeps — Some of these women they just give me the creeps — You don’t understand it—my feelings for you — Well, you’d be honest with me if only you knew

  • Tryin’ to Get to Heaven, 1997, Time Out of Mind, [287]

    • The air is getting hotter — There’s a rumbling in the skies — I been to Sugar Town, I shook the sugar down — Now I’m trying to get to heaven before they close the door

  • Make You Feel My Love, 2001, Love and Theft, [315]

    • When the rain is blowing in the your face — And the whole world is on your case — Go to the ends of the earth for you — To make you feel my love

  • Pay in Blood, 2012, Tempest, [477]

    • Well, I’m grinding my life away, steady and sure — Nothing more wretched than what I must endure — I`ll drink my fill and sleep alone — I pay in blood, but not my own

  • Lenny Bruce, 1981, Shot of Love, [117]

    • Lenny Bruce is dead but his ghost lives on and on — Never did get any Golden Globe award, never made it to Synanon — He fought a war on a battlefield where every victory hurts — Lenny Bruce was bad, he was the brother that you never had

  • Early Roman Kings, 2012, Tempest, [498]

    • All the early Roman Kings in their sharkskin suits — Bowties and buttons, high top boots — I’ve had my fun, I’ve had my flings — Gonna shake ‘em all down like the early Roman Kings

  • Girl from the North Country, 1963, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, [569]

    • 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

  • Not Dark Yet, 1997, Time Out of Mind, [166]

    • Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day — It’s too hot to sleep, time is running away — Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer — It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

  • Thunder on the Mountain, 2006, Modern Times, [739]

    • Thunder on the mountain, fires on the moon — There’s a ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon — The hammer’s on the table, the pitchfork’s on the shelf — For the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself

  • Soon After Midnight, 2012, Tempest, [416]

    • I’m searching for phrases to sing your praises — I need to tell someone — When I met you I didn’t think you would do — It’s soon after midnight and I don’t want nobody but you

  • Gotta Serve Somebody, 1979, Slow Train Coming, [504]

    • You may be ambassador to England or France — You may like to gamble, you might like to dance — Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord — But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

  •  Ballad of a Thin Man, 1965, Highway 61 Revisited, [1253]

    • You walk into the room — With your pencil in your hand — But you don’t know what it is — Do you, Mister Jones?

  • It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry, 1965, Highway 61 Revisited, [208]

    • Well, I ride on a mailtrain, baby — Can’t buy a thrill — Don’t say I never warned you — When your train gets lost

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