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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 20:08 GMT 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccX1ITaQmbI

Well you heard about Pharaoh's army
Trampling through the mud
You heard about the Hebrew children
Redeemed by blood
Same spirit drivin' in ya
That raised Christ from the dead
If you're quick in your mortal body
Then let it under your head.

You got to cover down, cover down, break through
Cover down, cover down, break through.

We need that protection
By the armour of the Lord
The sword of God is sharper
than any double sided sword
He's the hammer of salvation
blade of righteousness
Genesis to revelation
Repent and confess.

Cover down, cover down, break through
Cover down, cover down, break through.

Well, you wake up early in the morning
Turning from side to side
Something giving you a warning
You can run, but you can't hide
Demands are laid upon you
And burdens you can't bear
Sins you can't even remember
Are waiting to meet you there.

Cover down, cover down, break through
Cover down, cover down, break through.

You got an image of yourself
You've built by yourself alone
But it will come a-tumbling down
Just like the walls made of stone
You will be separated
From everything you seem to be
You think you'll be liberated, yeah
But the grave won't set you free.

You got to cover down, cover down, break through
Cover down, cover down, break through.
(Cover down, cover down, break through
Cover down, cover down, break through)


One of the better songs from the Gospel Period IMO is this killer blues/ raggae number that Bob oddly never put on record. In fact, he only performed it for a limited run of a couple months during the 1980 tour.
That said, it would have been a great addition on Saved and could have even gotten better into 1981 had he kept it.
The girls' voices are mind-blowing here and Bob is in awesome sound as well.
Strangely, I have no idea what the title and chorus means exactly but the rest of the song is pretty explanatory....

My favorite version is also the one posted above. It's from the middle of the run in Toronto and is a little more reggae and a little less blues....regardless it's incredible.

Toronto Canada
April 19 1980
http://www.sendspace.com/file/7gpy5f

Anyone else here a fan? Or may even know what this means or where it comes from???
Maybe a great version????


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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 20:12 GMT 

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I still think it's supposed to be COVER DOWN, PRAY THROUGH and someone transcribed it wrong.


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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 20:39 GMT 
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That's what Heylin claims, but it sounds like a hard "B", to me anyway. In any event it's one of Dylan's most underrated songs, even among diehards. Such a shame that it didn't escape 1980 or make it onto a record.


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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 21:05 GMT 

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Wow I never heard this ever! Great recording & cool tune. Thanks so much Marker! MEZ


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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 21:08 GMT 
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It's clearly up there in the little Big league with, say, Farewell Angelina, 'Cept you, Abandoned love, Angelina and Blind Willie McTell.
Only Dylan could have left such stuff off the current official album release.


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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 21:25 GMT 
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I'm pretty sure that's the version that made me a fan of this tune, essential listening.

Interesting theory on Heylin's part, but I'll stick with Coverdown, Breakthrough. It doesn't make sense but it doesn't make sense in that Bob Dylan way which makes perfect sense.


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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 21:44 GMT 

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Who transcribed it. Cloth ears:

The spirit is "dwelling" rather than driving & it'll "quicken your mortal body" ~ language straight off the Bible and the book of common prayer. It's also "Breakthrough" not pray through....

The word of god is "powerful and sharper than a double edged sword"

Finally " You can run, you can search but you sure can't hide"


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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 21:47 GMT 
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Never heard this before...Nice one :) .Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun August 28th, 2011, 22:59 GMT 
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Dylan introduced the song a couple of times during May 1980, I think one of the shows was Toronto... His speaking is clear and the recording good. It unquestionably Cover Down, Pray Through.

I love the song... love to play it and have always felt it should have had an official release.


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PostPosted: Mon August 29th, 2011, 03:27 GMT 

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Warren Peace wrote:
That's what Heylin claims, but it sounds like a hard "B", to me anyway.

People who are accustomed to working with microphones often don't emphasize plosives because it can make the mic pop. (To be fair, if it is "break," this could also be why you never hear a 'k' sound at the end of the word, whether it's Dylan or the backup singers. It really is more likely "pray," though, as to "pray through" is an actual expression used in some Christian circles.)


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PostPosted: Mon August 29th, 2011, 07:34 GMT 
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COVER DOWN, BREAK THROUGH

Oliver Trager

A standout composition that never saw official release, Cover Down Break Through is a blues-rock gospel sermon with a great soul riff and devoid of the confrontational nature of the other Slow Train Coming material. It could be in the repertoire of any Christian heavy-metal band. Dylan performed around two-dozen stump-preacher versions of this eschatological, frenetic song in April and May of 1980. As these were his last all-gospel shows, Cover Down Break Through was among the final devotional songs Dylan penned during this furious period of his life.

Clinton Heylin

Published lyrics: Words Fill My Head.

First known performance/s: Massey Hall, Toronto, 17 April 17, 1980.

“Press on toward what is ahead. I will pray for strength and more strength for ya – always – in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of God, manifest in the flesh.” letter from Dylan to a fellow believer, late April 1980

If I Will Love Him marked the end of one era, then Cover Down, Break Through and Ain’t Gonna Go To Hell For Anybody mark the transition to a new phase, in which the Bible remained a perpetual lyrical backdrop but any message was expressed in Dylan's words, not the scriptures. Not that either Cover Down Break Through or Ain't Gonna Got To Hell For Anubody exactly announced imminent apostasy – just a change in the angle of attack. For the length of the spring tour (30 days and 30 nights), these two songs took over from When He Returns, one pushing the listener to “repent and confess”, the other insisting “it ain't my goal / To gain the whole world and give up my soul.”

“Cover Down (Pray Through)” – copyrighted as Cover Down, Break Through, though this is not what Dylan sings – is the first Dylan title since Slow Train whose meaning is not revealed by a reading of the Boble. Indeed, there is nothing in the song (and very little outside it) that serves to explain Dylan's use of the expression. Perhaps a single verse of scripture offers a possible source – when Jeremiah addresses an angry God in the Lamentations, and says, “Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through” (3.44). Given that the song's opening image describes “Pharaoh's army tramping through the mud”, searching for the very Hebrew children Jeremiah is bewailing, Dylan could be singing about the power of prayer to sustain when the world comes tumbling down.

The only on-stage explanation he ever gave came on opening night in Toronto (17 April 1980), when he introduced the song as “Cover Down”, then added, “Get up in the morning, you got to cover down.” At a show in Syracuse, a fortnight later, after the song he enquires, “How many of you out there know what I'm talking about?” When he gets an affirmative response, he retorts, “Used to be nobody knew what I was talking about.” Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

The song certainly paints a sorry picture of the state of the world, before suggesting the only protection is “the full armour of the Lord / [For] the word of God is sharper than any double-sided sword.” A former sinner himself, the singer knows full well that “Sins you can't even remember / Are always waiting to say hello to you there.” At least he recognizes “The same spirit running in you raised Christ from the dead / If you're quick in your mortal body, then let it turn to your head,” is an encouragingly Dylanesque way of reiterating the sentiments of Romans 8:11: “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

Cover Down Break Through gave Dylan something to get his teeth into at these spring shows, even if the message was bespattered by all that “trampling through the mud”. However, despite its appearance on a list of songs rehearsed for the fall 1980 tour, it made its last live appearance at the final spring show, on 21 May 1980 when the good gospel was the only thing on his mind.


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PostPosted: Mon August 29th, 2011, 20:21 GMT 
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The Mighty Monkey Of Mim wrote:
Warren Peace wrote:
That's what Heylin claims, but it sounds like a hard "B", to me anyway.

People who are accustomed to working with microphones often don't emphasize plosives because it can make the mic pop. (To be fair, if it is "break," this could also be why you never hear a 'k' sound at the end of the word, whether it's Dylan or the backup singers. It really is more likely "pray," though, as to "pray through" is an actual expression used in some Christian circles.)


Dylan is notoriously bad about swallowing the end of words sometimes. I don't see why "pray through" is more likely -- a spiritual "break through" could just as well be the point. I've heard a few versions and have never gotten the impression that it's "pray through", anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon August 29th, 2011, 20:35 GMT 
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Untrodden Path wrote:
Dylan introduced the song a couple of times during May 1980, I think one of the shows was Toronto... His speaking is clear and the recording good. It unquestionably Cover Down, Pray Through.

I love the song... love to play it and have always felt it should have had an official release.




Yeah, I have the boot of the Toronto show. It is a good song and I'd like to see an official release too.
You have to pray, to break through, so I always heard, Cover Down, Pray Through.
However, it makes sense either way.


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PostPosted: Mon October 22nd, 2012, 03:02 GMT 
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Even if you can't understand Bob, I feel pretty sure they girls are saying pray through which as someone pointed out, is a common Christian expression. I've added what I feel are a few corrections to the lyrics from the original post.

Cover Down, Pray Through


Well you heard about Pharaoh's army
Trampling through the mud
You heard about the Hebrew children
Redeemed by blood
Same spirit dwellin' in ya
That raised Christ from the dead
If it quicken your mortal body
Then let it run to your head

(Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you)

You got to cover down, cover down, pray through
Cover down, cover down, pray through

We need protection
By the armour of the Lord
The sword of God is sharper
than any double sided sword
Helmet of salvation
Breastplate of righteousness
Genesis to Revelation
Repent and confess

(Ephesians 6:13-17 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God)

Cover down, cover down, pray through
Cover down, cover down, pray through

Well, you wake up early in the morning
Turning from side to side
Something giving you a warning
You can run, but you can't hide
Demands are laid upon you
And burdens you can't bear
Sins you can't even remember
Are waiting to meet you there

You got to cover down, cover down, pray through
Cover down, cover down, pray through

You got an image of yourself
You've built by yourself alone
But it will come a-tumbling down
Just like the walls made of stone
You will be separated
From everything you seem to be
You think you'll be liberated, yeah
But the grave won't set you free

You got to cover down, cover down, pray through
Cover down, cover down, pray through
Cover down, cover down, pray through
Cover down, cover down, pray through


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PostPosted: Mon October 22nd, 2012, 03:57 GMT 
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The WORD of God is sharper
than any double sided sword

Quote:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12


So glad you bumped this thread! Can't believe I missed it the first time around.

If anyone has a new YouTube link to post that would be grand.


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PostPosted: Mon October 22nd, 2012, 04:02 GMT 

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Never heard before of the premise that it is actually "pray through."

"Cover down, break through" makes sense to me as a militaristic image--take cover (from the "poison darts," temptations and personal attacks) and keep charging straight on.


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PostPosted: Mon October 22nd, 2012, 04:07 GMT 
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^^^Amen.


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PostPosted: Tue October 23rd, 2012, 18:52 GMT 
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I hear it as Pray Through. My copy is on casette and not the best sound quailty though.

Great song.


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PostPosted: Tue October 23rd, 2012, 21:49 GMT 
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I've heard numerous performances many times over and have never heard them articulate the "k"... "Pray through" makes more sense.


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PostPosted: Tue October 23rd, 2012, 22:22 GMT 
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Another great song Dylan should've recorded and put on the (could have been classic) Shot of Love.


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PostPosted: Wed October 24th, 2012, 00:09 GMT 
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Saved and Shot of Love could have both been double albums... he had the material...

if only... :(


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PostPosted: Wed October 24th, 2012, 00:27 GMT 
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Untrodden Path wrote:
Saved and Shot of Love could have both been double albums... he had the material...

if only... :(


I know, I know. I've made a few of my own versions of Shot of Love and it really could've been great. If only Dylan didn't get tired of some songs so quickly and ditch them for whatever was the newest thing he did and stick that on the album. Then again, if he did that he wouldn't be Bob.


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PostPosted: Wed October 24th, 2012, 00:36 GMT 
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In fact Shot Of Love was at one stage planned as a triple album.


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PostPosted: Wed October 24th, 2012, 01:19 GMT 
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Trev wrote:
In fact Shot Of Love was at one stage planned as a triple album.


Indeed it was, and what a triple album it could've been. The 80s might've been looked back as a better decade for Dylan had it come out as originally planned.


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PostPosted: Wed October 24th, 2012, 01:29 GMT 
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I'm hoping much of the unreleased material from that period becomes Official Bootleg Series, Volume 10.


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