Expecting Rain

Go to main page
It is currently Sat February 17th, 2018, 23:30 GMT

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 04:17 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 11th, 2007, 04:15 GMT
Posts: 1507
Location: City of Angels
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tctzUNMp5po

If not for you
Babe, I couldn’t find the door
Couldn’t even see the floor
I’d be sad and blue
If not for you

If not for you
Babe, I’d lay awake all night
Wait for the mornin’ light
To shine in through
But it would not be new
If not for you

If not for you
My sky would fall
Rain would gather too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost if not for you
And you know it’s true

If not for you
My sky would fall
Rain would gather too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
Oh! what would I do
If not for you

If not for you
Winter would have no spring
Couldn’t hear the robin sing
I just wouldn’t have a clue
Anyway it wouldn’t ring true
If not for you

IMO, one of the finest love songs Bob's ever written. And on New Morning, I think it's the best song on the album setting the warm and intimate tone for the rest of the record. It's also quite fitting that it was created with his buddy George, whose version is equally gorgeous (if not a little more, depending upon the day).

The song has been a regular on the NET for its entire run. Many lovely ones I'm sure...please post any faves...but one I've always returned to is from that turning point year of 1992. In the latter part of the year with the addition of Bucky's solid lead and Winston's superior rhythm, the shows have a renewed confidence and a playful strength, both qualities which can be heard in this great version.

From Cincinnati Ohio
November 3 1992
http://www.sendspace.com/file/9jc1mo

Hopefully others like this one? Any thoughts on it y'all??


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 04:27 GMT 
Titanium Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed October 11th, 2006, 04:33 GMT
Posts: 5106
What can i say, one of the finest


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 08:08 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 16th, 2008, 21:48 GMT
Posts: 2871
Location: Connecticut
The MEZ has always had a certain fondness for this track. Nice rendition once again Marker!! MEZ


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 09:32 GMT 

Joined: Mon January 8th, 2007, 19:59 GMT
Posts: 265
I love the slow version from the SP sessions, recorded only with piano and bass and later overdubbed with fiddle & pedal steel.
http://www.sendspace.com/file/zba3tv

"If Not For You" is related to some other earlier popular songs that are also based on the motif "I can't live without you".

Irving Berlin, With You (1929)
Quote:
"With you, a sunny day;
without you, clouds in the sky
[...]
With you, castles that fall
With you, I can't go wrong
[...]
Without you, I'm just nothing at all"


"You're The Cream In My Coffee" by DeSylva/Brown/Henderson (1928)
Quote:
"You're the cream in my coffee,
You're the salt in my stew
You will always be my necessity,
I'd be lost without you"


"After You, Who" by Cole Porter (1932)
Quote:
[verse:]
Though with joy I should be reeling
That at last you came my way,
There's no further use concealing
That I'm feeling far from gay.
For the rare allure about you
Makes me all the plainer see
How inane, how vain, how empty life
Without you would be.

[refrain]
After you, who
Could supply my sky of blue?
After you, who
Could I love?
After you, why
Should I take the time to try,
For who else could qualify
After you, who?
Hold my hand and swear
You'll never cease to care,
For without you there what could I do?
I could search years
But who else could change my tears
Into laughter after you?


"Never Let Me Go" by Jay Evans & Ray Livingstone (1956):
Quote:
Never let me go
Love me much too much
If you let me go
Life will lose its touch
What would I be without you?

There's no place for me without you
Never let me go
I'd be so lost if you went away
There'd be a thousand hours in a day without you
I know

Because of one caress my world was overturned
at the very start
All my bridges burned by my flaming heart
You'd never leave me would you?
You couldn't hurt me could you?

Never let me go
Never let me go


And here's a nice comment about Porter's "After You, Who" that sounds as if it was written about "If Not For You":
Quote:
"The music to which this simple yet touching lyric is set aptly approximates the emotional state of one who is joyfully in love and simultaneously saddened by the threat of losing the beloved [...] Porter allows us to experience (or perhaps experience again) the melancholy that even the putative loss of a lover entails. What if I never met and fell in love with her [...]? How inane life would be. But a more frightened feeling emerges from words and music, which suggest that love might yet disappear. So the lover emphasizes a list of losses he would suffer if he were to loose the beloved [...]. The fragility of love; the rarity of finding it; its capacity to light up the landscape; but the deeper darkness its disappearance occasions".
[William McBrien, Cole Porter. The Definitive Biography, London 1998]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 11:35 GMT 

Joined: Fri June 18th, 2010, 10:38 GMT
Posts: 321
I prefer George's solo version to the new morning one. But this casual rehearsal tops them both and captures the song's sunny vibe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tctzUNMp5po


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 14:44 GMT 
Titanium Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri February 11th, 2005, 02:23 GMT
Posts: 9660
It's a real nice song and it's obviously a love song in which he is trying to express his love to a girl and he does this in a novel way: not by telling the girl he loves her but by telling the girl what an incompetent goof he is or would be if it were not for her. We can assume the girl finds this non-threatening, rather disarming and cute. Thus Bob wins the day and gets high marks for his creativity in pursuit of women.
:wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 15:34 GMT 
Titanium Member

Joined: Thu November 4th, 2004, 18:54 GMT
Posts: 8515
Location: NYC
It's a pleasant folk melody strung with banalities that say the same thing line after line, verse after verse, with little originality or invention. That is adequate for a pop song, but it is not a sign of poetic genius but rather of an unambitious and easily satisfied mind. He sings it well enough, but if this is the depth of his feeling toward women, that would explain his inability to sustain a monogamous relationship.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 17:05 GMT 
Mercury Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed January 9th, 2008, 13:29 GMT
Posts: 10417
^^Ouch :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 18:27 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat October 27th, 2007, 12:44 GMT
Posts: 16900
Location: Workin' as a postal clerk
harmonica albert wrote:
that would explain his inability to sustain a monogamous relationship.


I always thought it was just because he could bang nearly anyone he wanted to...

Anyway, I don't always love the song, but the version from Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, CA 10/8/93, included in great sound as filler on the Great Woods bootleg cd is exquisite; haunted and beautiful. Here, the relationship seems wistfully recalled from the past, with just a trace of sorrow at the loss. Wish I could post it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 18:31 GMT 
Titanium Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 29th, 2006, 14:41 GMT
Posts: 5022
Location: In the middle
TheTruthIsObscure wrote:
I love the slow version from the SP sessions, recorded only with piano and bass and later overdubbed with fiddle & pedal steel.
http://www.sendspace.com/file/zba3tv


The truth is indeed obscure. There's considerable depth of feeling to be felt from this performance and here the words don't seem empty or automatic as on the wish-washy album take.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 22:05 GMT 
Titanium Member

Joined: Thu November 4th, 2004, 18:54 GMT
Posts: 8515
Location: NYC
It's a sign of his brilliant capabilities as a singer that he can make an ordinary song a beautiful performance. He's a bit like Billie Holiday in that regard.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu September 16th, 2010, 22:53 GMT 

Joined: Mon October 8th, 2007, 03:13 GMT
Posts: 408
Location: New York New York
harmonica albert wrote:
It's a sign of his brilliant capabilities as a singer that he can make an ordinary song a beautiful performance. He's a bit like Billie Holiday in that regard.


And this, children, is called "damning with faint praise."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri September 17th, 2010, 06:38 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 11th, 2007, 04:15 GMT
Posts: 1507
Location: City of Angels
smoke wrote:

Anyway, I don't always love the song, but the version from Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, CA 10/8/93, included in great sound as filler on the Great Woods bootleg cd is exquisite; haunted and beautiful. Here, the relationship seems wistfully recalled from the past, with just a trace of sorrow at the loss. Wish I could post it.


Lovely version Smoke and one I'd never heard. As a closet 93 fan, I thank you. Haunted and beautiful indeed with a grand harmonica solo to boot.

Here it is:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/oing4r

Oh and TruthIsObscure, an amazing and informative post as usual:) Thanks yo...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon September 20th, 2010, 07:59 GMT 
Titanium Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed October 11th, 2006, 04:33 GMT
Posts: 5106
harmonica albert wrote:
It's a sign of his brilliant capabilities as a singer that he can make an ordinary song a beautiful performance

i dunno, al, i make this one sound ok too


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon September 20th, 2010, 19:09 GMT 
Titanium Member
User avatar

Joined: Tue April 28th, 2009, 00:12 GMT
Posts: 5454
Location: The ants are my friends
I know what it is like not being able to hear a robin sing. But it wasn't because of any woman. It was because I had an ear infection.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon September 20th, 2010, 20:35 GMT 
Titanium Member

Joined: Thu November 4th, 2004, 18:54 GMT
Posts: 8515
Location: NYC
I don't consider comparison to Billie Holiday "faint praise" nor am I "damning" a song not worth damning. The lyric is nothing special--neither deeply imaginative nor carelessly awful. It's just repetitive and banal.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon September 20th, 2010, 20:54 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Tue December 29th, 2009, 19:10 GMT
Posts: 1387
Location: Hard Times in New York Town
I consider this one of Bob's best simple love songs, and a testament to the breadth of his abilities as a songwriter.

It's just amazing to me that the same man who made complex masterpieces like "Visions of Johanna," "Desolation Row," "Mississippi," etc. also wrote such strikingly honest, straight-forward, naked testaments as "If Not for You," "One Too Many Mornings," and "Tomorrow Is A Long Time." Sometimes, the simplest way to say something is the most effective.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon September 20th, 2010, 21:18 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Thu March 4th, 2010, 19:43 GMT
Posts: 1887
Location: around
I've always dug this song. A real simple love song on a real simple album, both things that I like.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon September 20th, 2010, 21:31 GMT 

Joined: Mon October 8th, 2007, 03:13 GMT
Posts: 408
Location: New York New York
harmonica albert wrote:
I don't consider comparison to Billie Holiday "faint praise" nor am I "damning" a song not worth damning. The lyric is nothing special--neither deeply imaginative nor carelessly awful. It's just repetitive and banal.


The comparison is faint praise inasmuch as Holiday doesn't have that same exalted reputation as a songwriter. You are dropping Dylan the songwriter from consideration with your comparison, which makes the praise faint.

But really this is the same old thing we have rehashed in other places. Hardly any terms in the critic's lexicon are more fatigued than "banal" or "repetitive," and you have a habit of proving that you are capable of disliking this or that song or album of Dylan's. It would be more interesting to ask, Does it amount to anything to have the ability to dislike a song?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 07:36 GMT 
Titanium Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed October 11th, 2006, 04:33 GMT
Posts: 5106
i dunno if i like the song but i like my post better than al's


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 16:32 GMT 
Titanium Member

Joined: Thu November 4th, 2004, 18:54 GMT
Posts: 8515
Location: NYC
I don't consider If Not For You an example of anything other than mediocrity in song writing, at least in the lyric. If there is some critical apologia for rudimentary rhymes like door/floor/you/true/spring/sing/night/light and for a song to say the same thing in every verse, line after line, with little or no depth of insight into human experience other than the facile Hallmark level this song skims, fans of the song ought to write one. For me, the song functions as a sign of aesthetic failure in self-evident terms, or perhaps no aesthetic ambition whatsoever.

As for whatever habits I'm supposed to have, at this point, I find Dylan's failures more instructive than his successes, and I do not share the opinion of many here that he is incapable of failure or that his critical acclaim is entirely justified. Regardless of how "repetitive" and "banal" figure in anyone's "critical lexicon," I think the terms exactly describe the language of the song and its stream of generic monosyllables.

A comparison to another love song that shows far more creativity, These Foolish Things, illustrates something of what I mean by Dylan's rudimentary rhymes and banality:

A cigarette that bares a lipstick's traces
An airline ticket to romantic places
Still my heart has wings
These foolish things remind me of you.
A tinkling piano in the next apartment
Those stumblin' words
That told you what my heart meant
A fair ground painted swings
These foolish things remind me of you.

You came, you saw, you conquered me
When you did that to me
I knew somehow this had to be
The winds of march that made my heart a dancer
A telephone that rings but who's to answer
Oh, how the ghost of you clings
These foolish things remind me of you

These are the verses Holiday sang exquisitely. The full song is quite a bit longer. The imagery is far more developed and specific--a cigarette with lipstick, a piano playing next door, an unanswered telephone, etc.--as opposed to generic nouns like door/floor/winter/spring which barely qualify as images at all. Compare "spring" to "the winds of march that made my heart a dancer"--two iterations of the same meaning, one baldly nominative, the other sensuously specific and personal. The rhyme in "next apartment/what my heart meant" is far more interesting than "spring/sing" and "door/floor" as are the juxtapositions of sentiments in those lines. This is the difference between weak and strong lyric writing, and not recognizing this calls into question the competence of those who consider If Not For You a well-crafted lyric. It shows little if any craft and probably took as long to write as it does to sing.

The full lyric of These Foolish Things shares with Dylan's song the repetition of the essential statement of the opening lines--image after image "reminds me of you"--but the key difference is the care and invention displayed in the depictions which correspond to actual human emotion, the love and longing of one person for another, in far more convincing and memorable terms.

I think the strengths of If Not For You lie in the melody, which is sung well by Dylan and George Harrison.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 16:57 GMT 
Titanium Member

Joined: Fri June 11th, 2010, 15:47 GMT
Posts: 6959
Location: Gurt lush England
iv always liked this song, simplicity is often a good thing. Same can be said for songs like 'i threw it all away' and 'forever young' both songs have very simple lyrics when you read them but the melody and delivery makes them special


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 19:13 GMT 

Joined: Mon October 8th, 2007, 03:13 GMT
Posts: 408
Location: New York New York
The other thing about simplicity is that it often looks easier to pull off than it is. I won't speak for anyone else in this discussion, but I could try all night and day for a year and not write something like "If Not For You." I don't say this is Dylan's best song or anything like it; I just think it means something important about him that he knows how to write something this simple as well as something like "Desolation Row."

And then, ask yourself: How simple IS it? Think of that bridge.

If not for you
My sky would fall
Rain would gather too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost if not for you

If the sky fell, how could rain gather "too"? Where would the rain gather? Well, the waters were gathered together at creation, back before the sky was separated from the earth. So if it weren't for "you" it's not that the world would end, as the words appear to say; rather as if the world had never come into existence. The world would revert to its condition of pre-existence. This "you" accounts for the speaker's world as completely as God accounts for the world at large. If not for you, in other words, the world would not yet have come into existence.

Hence the speaker's predicament. We go from ontology to existential crisis. "I'd be nowhere at all. I'd be lost."

Again this pair of sentiments, like the sky falling followed by rain, seems like a contradiction. If I'm nowhere then I'm not lost; to be lost is already to be situated somewhere but not to know where that is. So our minds are turned back to this "nowhere," which is yet another way of saying: If not for the power of this "you" the speaker's world would have no being.

Sure, I love "the next apartment" and "what my heart meant." I have played that song to death; I have about half-a-dozen singers' versions of it. Its language is far more precise and pointed than the language in "If Not For You." But remember that the language of ontology tends to have a small vocabulary, a pretty abstract one too.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 19:38 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri June 27th, 2008, 20:28 GMT
Posts: 17309
Location: Maybe it isn't a tour, maybe he's just lost.
Fleet Foot wrote:
The other thing about simplicity is that it often looks easier to pull off than it is. I won't speak for anyone else in this discussion, but I could try all night and day for a year and not write something like "If Not For You." I don't say this is Dylan's best song or anything like it; I just think it means something important about him that he knows how to write something this simple as well as something like "Desolation Row."

And then, ask yourself: How simple IS it? Think of that bridge.

If not for you
My sky would fall
Rain would gather too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost if not for you

If the sky fell, how could rain gather "too"? Where would the rain gather? Well, the waters were gathered together at creation, back before the sky was separated from the earth. So if it weren't for "you" it's not that the world would end, as the words appear to say; rather as if the world had never come into existence. The world would revert to its condition of pre-existence. This "you" accounts for the speaker's world as completely as God accounts for the world at large. If not for you, in other words, the world would not yet have come into existence.

Hence the speaker's predicament. We go from ontology to existential crisis. "I'd be nowhere at all. I'd be lost."

Again this pair of sentiments, like the sky falling followed by rain, seems like a contradiction. If I'm nowhere then I'm not lost; to be lost is already to be situated somewhere but not to know where that is. So our minds are turned back to this "nowhere," which is yet another way of saying: If not for the power of this "you" the speaker's world would have no being.

Sure, I love "the next apartment" and "what my heart meant." I have played that song to death; I have about half-a-dozen singers' versions of it. Its language is far more precise and pointed than the language in "If Not For You." But remember that the language of ontology tends to have a small vocabulary, a pretty abstract one too.


Cool! Now do "Hit Me Baby One More Time"! :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 21:03 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Tue June 2nd, 2009, 03:13 GMT
Posts: 4782
Long Johnny wrote:
Fleet Foot wrote:
The other thing about simplicity is that it often looks easier to pull off than it is. I won't speak for anyone else in this discussion, but I could try all night and day for a year and not write something like "If Not For You." I don't say this is Dylan's best song or anything like it; I just think it means something important about him that he knows how to write something this simple as well as something like "Desolation Row."

And then, ask yourself: How simple IS it? Think of that bridge.

If not for you
My sky would fall
Rain would gather too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost if not for you

If the sky fell, how could rain gather "too"? Where would the rain gather? Well, the waters were gathered together at creation, back before the sky was separated from the earth. So if it weren't for "you" it's not that the world would end, as the words appear to say; rather as if the world had never come into existence. The world would revert to its condition of pre-existence. This "you" accounts for the speaker's world as completely as God accounts for the world at large. If not for you, in other words, the world would not yet have come into existence.

Hence the speaker's predicament. We go from ontology to existential crisis. "I'd be nowhere at all. I'd be lost."

Again this pair of sentiments, like the sky falling followed by rain, seems like a contradiction. If I'm nowhere then I'm not lost; to be lost is already to be situated somewhere but not to know where that is. So our minds are turned back to this "nowhere," which is yet another way of saying: If not for the power of this "you" the speaker's world would have no being.

Sure, I love "the next apartment" and "what my heart meant." I have played that song to death; I have about half-a-dozen singers' versions of it. Its language is far more precise and pointed than the language in "If Not For You." But remember that the language of ontology tends to have a small vocabulary, a pretty abstract one too.


Cool! Now do "Hit Me Baby One More Time"! :lol:


I thought your post was interesting Fleet Foot.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: goodmeats, man on a bridge, Still Go Barefoot


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group