Bob Dylan – “When You Gonna Wake Up” (Oslo, Norway – July 9, 1981) 

The next installment of the Bootleg Series is coming soon, and it features material from Dylan’s unjustly overlooked gospel period. Should be a treat.

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License to Kill

“License to Kill” is a “deep tracks”Bob Dylan tune from his album Infidels. I have always appreciated it, and in this day and age it is truer than ever (isn’t this the mark of a great lyric, that it continues to resonate?). Recently I got back into it, thanks to watching a rerun of Tom Petty performing it at the Bob Dylan 30th anniversary celebration concert from the early 90’s. Elvis Costello does an interesting take on the song on the Amnesty International  tribute album to Dylan. The great Richie Havens (RIP) takes ownership of it in a way that only he could.  Of course you should check out Dylan’s original studio version on Infidels, as well his concert performance on the album Real Live. For a slashing, rocked-up version, check out his 1984 David Letterman show performance.

Here’s my take, with lyrics and chords below the fold.

 

C                    Am                     G                C
 Man thinks 'cause he rules the earth | he can do with it as he please
        C            Am              G
 And if things don't change soon,| he will.
     F                    C                                   F
 Oh, man has invented his doom, | First step was touching the moon.
 

               Am /g F       Am /g F
 Now, there's a woman   on my block,
          Am /g    F                   Am /g  F
 She just sit there as the night grows still.
         C              G                  | C    Csus4 C
 She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Now, they take him and they teach him and they groom him for life
 And they set him on a path where he's bound to get ill,
 Then they bury him with stars,
 Sell his body like they do used cars.

Now, there's a woman on my block,
 She just sit there facin' the hill.
 She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Now, he's hell-bent for destruction, he's afraid and confused,
 And his brain has been mismanaged with great skill.
 All he believes are his eyes
 And his eyes, they just tell him lies.

But there's a woman on my block,
 Sitting there in a cold chill.
 She say who gonna take away his license to kill? 

            Am                         C
 Ya may be a noisemaker, spirit maker,| Heartbreaker, backbreaker,
 Dm               C
 Leave no stone unturned.
           Am               C 
 May be an actor in a plot, That might be all that you got
           Dm                G
 'Til your error you clearly learn.
 

Now he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool
 And when he sees his reflection, he's fulfilled.
 Oh, man is opposed to fair play,
 He wants it all and he wants it his way.

Now, there's a woman on my block,
 She just sit there as the night grows still.
 She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

 

From <http://dylanchords.info/25_infidels/licence_to_kill.htm>

The Golden Age

My cover demo of Beck’s “The Golden Age”, recorded many years ago in Garageband on the iMac. The original track appears on his album Sea Change.

Lyrics

Put your hands on the wheel
Let the golden age begin
Let the window down
Feel the moonlight on your skin
Let the desert wind
Cool your aching head
Let the weight of the world
Drift away instead

These day I barely get by
I don’t even try

It’s a treacherous road
With a desolated view
There’s distant lights
But here they’re far and few
And the sun don’t shine
Even when its day
You gotta drive all night
Just to feel like you’re ok

These days I barely get by
I don’t even try

Written by Beck Hansen • Copyright © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Who’ll Stop the Rain (solo acoustic cover)

Long as I remember the rain been comin’ down
Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages tryin’ to find the sun.
And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.

I went down Virginia seekin’ shelter from the storm
Caught up in the fable I watched the tower grow
Five year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.

Heard the singers playin’, how we cheered for more.
The crowd had rushed together tryin’ to keep warm.
Still the rain kept pourin’, fallin’ on my ears
And I wonder, still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.

Songwriters
GLENN GREGORY, IAN MARSH, MARTYN WARE

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

The Other Side

The nervous whiny groaning fan has stopped.
Windows open now, balmy air pillows push in,
Schubert plays soft, trembles beside the birds.

So this must be the other side of
fruitless blood rush, desperation plucked,
something heavy lifted, cut, gently led away.

A tropical depression looms, not here yet —
the wet stench of groaning absinthe days
staved off, parked off the horizon.

The piano doles impressions, helped by breeze and milky sky,
but how can Schubert, birds and silky air
speak to my sickness, sweat, and wreckage?

They’ve come anyway, compassionate friends
like a pool dive smashing voracious heat
or a wine cork popping off the pressure.

They whisper, don’t suffocate, open yourself,
tell the silent dry streets what you need,
what you want to do. Take a breath.

Thus lessened by longing, weightless and slow,
I feel the melody recede, soften to tonic,
the rope between you and me gone slack.

My knotted fist blooms, and free your memory goes,
that was always distant anyway,
drifting, aloft, held in light.

 
(Schubert -Opus 90, D899, No. 3 in G Flat Major, Andante)

Saturday listen: “I Remember the Boy”

I came across this tune on the LP this is Jackie DeShannon (Imperial LP-9286). Good album, by the way. This was the B-side to her 1965 hit single “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”  

Here’s DeShannon’s lyric:

I remember the boy who held his hand in mine
He was the boy not looking to change my mind
And let me tell you now, every day that he’s been away
You know, I cry all night, somehow I feel like I didn’t do right

And I can still see his face ’cause is deep in my memory
Ringing in my ears are all the things he once told to me

I don’t think he was putting me on
When he said he just had to move on
The stars up in the sky he’s reaching for
Only make me love him more

And I wonder, I wonder, I wonder

Will he remember me in some little town, ready to settle down?
Will I be there to share his pleasant dreams?
He does not know how much it means, oh, no

I remember the boy who’ll always be a part of me
And I can’t help but feel that he’ll often think of me

And I wonder, I wonder, I wonder
Will he remember me in some little town, ready to settle down?
Will I be there to share his pleasant dreams?
He does not know how much it means, oh, no