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PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 21:38 GMT 

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Thank you, besotted. And LJ: touche!


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PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 21:58 GMT 
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I think Bob was exaggerating a bit in this song. The sky would not fall under any circumstances. According to scientists it is permanently fixed in the air. So he really didn't have anything to worry about there.


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PostPosted: Tue September 21st, 2010, 22:04 GMT 
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Mister.Jones wrote:
I think Bob was exaggerating a bit in this song. The sky would not fall under any circumstances. According to scientists it is permanently fixed in the air. So he really didn't have anything to worry about there.


Even with those long lists of things that piss you off,
you remain an optimist.


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PostPosted: Wed September 22nd, 2010, 05:01 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
Now do "Hit Me Baby One More Time"!

great songs, both of em


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PostPosted: Sat September 25th, 2010, 16:12 GMT 
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]bs1 trumps both official takes


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PostPosted: Sun September 26th, 2010, 16:38 GMT 
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Gotta give a big shout out to "If Not For You" here because it's just such a fine ditty.


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PostPosted: Mon September 27th, 2010, 02:28 GMT 

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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.


nah


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PostPosted: Mon September 27th, 2010, 03:05 GMT 
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there is no reason to talk about a song unless you're bringing it to someone's attention. if they don't wanna hear, let em stick to their jazz


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PostPosted: Mon July 18th, 2011, 05:58 GMT 
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I prefer Dylan's vocals, but I like Harrison's instrumental backing more.

And their duet before the Concert for Bangladesh is sublime.


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PostPosted: Mon July 18th, 2011, 07:41 GMT 

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Decent song, but I'm sort of in the 'preferring Harrison's version more' boat. George could have done an awesome album of Dylan covers, had he so chosen to.

EDIT: And for the record, I like very few covers more than the originals when it comes to Dylan. Like Hendrix's version of "Watchtower" is great, but Dylan's is so subtle and spooky. Guitar pyrotechnics completely lose that feeling. Pity that Bob only played it rustically on JWH, rather than trying to capture that sound again live.


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PostPosted: Mon July 18th, 2011, 10:50 GMT 
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harmonica albert wrote:
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.

:lol:

Perhaps he planned on keeping the object of his affection enticed by seranading her over and over again with this adequate pop song. Depth is not a requirement for pop music.

The '94 tour had some wonderful electric performances of If Not For You and they are among my favorites. Once in a while an acoustic performance will raise my eyebrow... but not very often. I like it well enough and am satisfied with the lyrics. Not every song has to ris to the level of Driftin' Too Far From Shore or Visions of Johanna.


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PostPosted: Mon July 18th, 2011, 13:37 GMT 
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I love Bob's simple love songs more than any of his other songs. Sure, he is showing off his intellect more in Desolation Row, Red River Shore, etc. And I dearly love those songs, too.

But it's his love songs that hit me where I live. If Not For You, Lay Lady Lay, Love Minus Zero, You Angel You....I could list a hundred of them that make my heart sing ! His ability to do that is a sign of genius surely as much as his more complicated songs.


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PostPosted: Mon July 18th, 2011, 13:44 GMT 
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It's a great strength of Dylan's that he'll write a blatantly simple song, imo.


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PostPosted: Mon July 18th, 2011, 13:56 GMT 
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I kind of wish Dylan had stuck with his Nashville voice for this (and NM as a whole). The albums is pretty much a sequel to NS anyway, why not go all the way?


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PostPosted: Mon July 18th, 2011, 17:05 GMT 
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My favorite (if there is such a thing) Dylan song. One of his few (imo) love songs. and w/no twist, no ugliness, not "buts" or anything! I wonder if George nixed all those verses :lol:

i enjoyed Long Johnny's remarks about simplicity. Dylan does seems to have mastered both the complex and the simple very well.


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PostPosted: Sat July 23rd, 2011, 22:59 GMT 
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blue wrote:
My favorite (if there is such a thing) Dylan song. One of his few (imo) love songs. and w/no twist, no ugliness, not "buts" or anything! I wonder if George nixed all those verses :lol:

i enjoyed Long Johnny's remarks about simplicity. Dylan does seems to have mastered both the complex and the simple very well.


Good choice for a favorite song. :) I also love Day of the Locusts and New Morning on this album. In fact, I enjoy all of New Morning quite a bit. However, there are only a handful of Dylan songs in existence that I consistently skip when I am listening to an album and two of them are on this album. So that always throws a slight damper on NM for me.

Blue, what is your avatar? Is that a ShihTzu?


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PostPosted: Sun July 24th, 2011, 00:43 GMT 
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Queen Anne's Lace, not exactly . . .
http://curezone.com/ig/i.asp?i=18857


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PostPosted: Sun July 24th, 2011, 00:59 GMT 
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^^ :lol: Wow, my eyes must be worse than I thought !


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PostPosted: Sun July 24th, 2011, 03:06 GMT 
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Fleet Foot wrote:
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."


You could take it that way, although the vocal is the thing that makes the song tolerable. Otherwise the song's a bit insipid.


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PostPosted: Sun January 24th, 2016, 06:46 GMT 

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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.


Just ran across this gorgeous version and remembered that it
was recommended by our good friend Smoke....
Haunted and beautiful version indeed...and such a great harmonica solo at the end.....

Sacramento CA
October 8 1993
http://www.mediafire.com/listen/5og5mac ... or_You.mp3


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PostPosted: Sun January 14th, 2018, 00:29 GMT 

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Untrodden Path wrote:

The '94 tour had some wonderful electric performances of If Not For You and they are among my favorites. Once in a while an acoustic performance will raise my eyebrow... but not very often. I like it well enough and am satisfied with the lyrics. Not every song has to ris to the level of Driftin' Too Far From Shore or Visions of Johanna.



Here's an amazing one from that year!
It's got a mind-blowing vocal and then one of the finest
harp solos the man has ever blown:)

Lewiston NY
August 16 1994
http://www.mediafire.com/file/d1zke7mkp ... or_You.mp3

Though not really as great as that one, the one from Lyon a month earlier
is pretty sublime as well:
https://youtu.be/A8AWSh_COJA


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PostPosted: Sun January 14th, 2018, 01:29 GMT 
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Thanks Marker! Enjoyed that last YouTube from Lyon (1994)!
Which led to this one (1998):
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ0p7-MjI-E

And this one (1996):
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9bNWgG3cl00


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