Can’t stand Bob Dylan?

Bob Dylan is a great songwriter but his voice has always annoyed me. It seems designed to push away people more interested in performance then lyrics. That’s why his songs have always made good covers: musicians recognize a good song from him and put a more accessible performance to it. Which “All Along The Watchtower” do you listen to? Be honest.

I know many of you feel the way I do. His voice sounds like chalk raked across blackboard. I can’t take it.

There is an alternative: Woody Guthrie. Dylan was inspired by him, his songwriting was just as, if not more powerful, and he can sing!

“Do Re Mi.” – Woody Guthrie, 1937

Lots of folks back East, they say, is leavin’ home every day,
Beatin’ the hot old dusty way to the California line.
‘Cross the desert sands they roll, gettin’ out of that old dust bowl,
They think they’re goin’ to a sugar bowl, but here’s what they find –
Now, the police at the port of entry say,
“You’re number fourteen thousand for today.”

CHORUS:
Oh, if you ain’t got the do re mi, folks, you ain’t got the do re mi,
Why, you better go back to beautiful Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee.
California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
If you ain’t got the do re mi.

You want to buy you a home or a farm, that can’t deal nobody harm,
Or take your vacation by the mountains or sea.
Don’t swap your old cow for a car, you better stay right where you are,
Better take this little tip from me.
‘Cause I look through the want ads every day
But the headlines on the papers always say:

If you ain’t got the do re mi, boys, you ain’t got the do re mi,
Why, you better go back to beautiful Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee.
California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
If you ain’t got the do re mi.

2 responses

  1. One of the few songs I’d sing in my old band (Potter’s Field) was a cover medley of “All Along The Watchtower” with Indigo Girls’ “1-2-3″.

    From the bowery to the brimstone, I tried to find your heart
    With drugs of initiation, bottom of the barrel that drops
    I understand your causes, sympathize the motivation
    But all the details of this war are just self-infatuation

    1 2 3
    Nothings for free
    4 5 6
    Pick up the sticks and go home

    This manic blood runs thick my friend, are you looking for a clean escape?
    What’s left when the locks have all been broken, young children of authority?
    How long can you be agile, dancing between the altar and the mercy seat?
    Now here’s a chance to make a choice, are you aware of the fire beneath your feet?

    1 2 3
    Nothings for free
    4 5 6
    Pick up the sticks and go home.

    The basement lies within us, the fear comes through the door
    ‘Til there’s nothing left between us, and the fear becomes a roar

    Once that wheel is in motion, don’t lose what you have found
    I’m talking about that burning wheel of tongues, everything that makes it go round and ’round
    We’re all born in the devils scorn, they want to see you die
    I’m asking you, are you true, when everything they say is a lie

    1 2 3
    Nothings for free
    4 5 6
    Pick up the sticks and go home

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