Sunday, April 14, 2013

Songs about Bob Dylan's Loves

For years Dylanologists have been trying to interpret the meaning of Bob Dylan's songs. They often do not agree. One of the ways to try and interpret some of his songs is trying to determine if he was singing about one of his girlfriends or wives. Sometimes the Dylanologist disagree and sometimes he may be writing his song about composits of several muses. Here is my best guess.

Echo Helstrom ( 1950's High School Friend from Hibbing Minnesota or collage friend Bonnie Beecher at the University of Minnesota)

    "Girl From the North Country"

Suze Rotolo (1961-1965 girlfriend in New York's Greenwich Village - Photo with Dylan above)

  "Don't Think Twice, it's Alright"

  "Tomorrow Is a Long Time"

   "One Too Many Morning"

   "Boots of Spanish Leather"

   "To Ramona"

   "It Ain't Me Babe"

    "Ballad in Plain D"

   Joan Baez (1963-1970s?)

  "Visions of Johanna"

  "Mama You Been on My Mind"

  "She Belongs to Me"

  "Queen Jane Approximately"

  "It's All over Now, Baby Blue"

 Edie Sedgwick  ( 1965 NY Model)

  "Just Like A Woman"

  "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat"

 "Like a Rolling Stone"

 Sara Dylan ( 1965-1977 First wife - maiden name Sara Lowndes)

 "Love Minus Zero"

  "We Better Talk This Over"

  Tangled Up in Blue"*

  "Simple Twist of Fate"*

   "If You See Her, Say Hello"*

    "Idiot Wind"*

   "You're a Big Girl Now"*

   "If You See Her, Say Hello"

  "Abandoned Love"

  "Down Along the Cove"

  "Wedding Song"

  "Tonight I'll Be Staying here With You"

  "On a Night Like This"

   "Something There is About You"

   "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"

  "To Be Alone With You"

  "If Not for You"

  "Time Passes Slowly"

  "Desolation Row"

  "Where Are You Tonight"

  "Love Minus Zero/No Limit"


  ""I Want You"

  "Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands"

  "If Not For You"

  "Lay, lady Lay"
Ellen Bernstein ( 1974 Columbia Records executive)

  "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go"

 *Blood on the Tracks (1975)
Erling Aadland, Professor of comparative literature, University of Bergen, Norway writes this about the 1975 album "Blood on the Tracks" about the breakup of Dylan's first marrage:

Most commentators insist the songs are highly autobiographical. Gill & Odegard write that they are the results of the failing marriage, and that in 1974, Dylan set a new standard “for confessional song writing, with an album whose personal revelations would remain half-hidden behind a screen of fiction [...] allegories, and shifting time scales” (2005: 28). Several also point out that in 1974, Dylan had an affair with Ellen Bernstein, an employee at Columbia Records, who visited him at his farm in Minnesota where he wrote the songs, and that she might be the model for the “you” in “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”. Dylan has said that he does not write “confessional songs” (The Biograph-booklet 1985: 51), but Williamson believes that “there’s no other way of describing Blood on the Tracks” (2004: 220).