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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 00:15 GMT 

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Location: City of Angels
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-1mkbe6KwY

Well, there was this movie I seen one time
About a man riding ’cross the desert and it starred Gregory Peck
He was shot down by a hungry kid trying to make a name for himself
The townspeople wanted to crush that kid down and string him up by the neck

Well, the marshal, now he beat that kid to a bloody pulp
As the dying gunfighter lay in the sun and gasped for his last breath
“Turn him loose, let him go, let him say he outdrew me fair and square
I want him to feel what it’s like to every moment face his death”

Well, I keep seeing this stuff and it just comes a-rolling in
And you know it blows right through me like a ball and chain
You know I can’t believe we’ve lived so long and are still so far apart
The memory of you keeps callin’ after me like a rollin’ train

I can still see the day that you came to me on the painted desert
In your busted down Ford and your platform heels
I could never figure out why you chose that particular place to meet
Ah, but you were right. It was perfect as I got in behind the wheel

Well, we drove that car all night into San Anton’
And we slept near the Alamo, your skin was so tender and soft
Way down in Mexico you went out to find a doctor and you never came back
I would have gone on after you but I didn’t feel like letting my head get blown off

Well, we’re drivin’ this car and the sun is comin’ up over the Rockies
Now I know she ain’t you but she’s here and she’s got that dark rhythm in her soul
But I’m too over the edge and I ain’t in the mood anymore to remember the times
when I was your only man
And she don’t want to remind me. She knows this car would go out of control

Brownsville girl with your Brownsville curls
Teeth like pearls shining like the moon above
Brownsville girl, show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you’re my honey love

Well, we crossed the panhandle and then we headed towards Amarillo
We pulled up where Henry Porter used to live. He owned a wreckin’ lot outside of town about a mile
Ruby was in the backyard hanging clothes, she had her red hair tied back. She saw us come rolling up in a trail of dust
She said, “Henry ain’t here but you can come on in, he’ll be back in a little while”

Then she told us how times were tough and about how she was thinkin’ of
bummin’ a ride back to from where she started
But ya know, she changed the subject every time money came up
She said, “Welcome to the land of the living dead”
You could tell she was so broken hearted
She said, “Even the swap meets around here are getting pretty corrupt”

“How far are y’all going?” Ruby asked us with a sigh
“We’re going all the way ’til the wheels fall off and burn
’Til the sun peels the paint and the seat covers fade and the water moccasin dies”
Ruby just smiled and said, “Ah, you know some babies never learn”

Something about that movie though, well I just can’t get it out of my head
But I can’t remember why I was in it or what part I was supposed to play
All I remember about it was Gregory Peck and the way people moved
And a lot of them seemed to be lookin’ my way

Brownsville girl with your Brownsville curls,
Teeth like pearls shining like the moon above
Brownsville girl, show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you’re my honey love

Well, they were looking for somebody with a pompadour
I was crossin’ the street when shots rang out
I didn’t know whether to duck or to run, so I ran
“We got him cornered in the churchyard,” I heard somebody shout

Well, you saw my picture in the Corpus Christi Tribune. Underneath it,
it said, “A man with no alibi”
You went out on a limb to testify for me, you said I was with you
Then when I saw you break down in front of the judge and cry real tears
It was the best acting I saw anybody do

Now I’ve always been the kind of person that doesn’t like to trespass
but sometimes you just find yourself over the line
Oh if there’s an original thought out there, I could use it right now
You know, I feel pretty good, but that ain’t sayin’ much. I could feel a whole lot better
If you were just here by my side to show me how

Well, I’m standin’ in line in the rain to see a movie starring Gregory Peck
Yeah, but you know it’s not the one that I had in mind
He’s got a new one out now, I don’t even know what it’s about
But I’ll see him in anything so I’ll stand in line

Brownsville girl with your Brownsville curls
Teeth like pearls shining like the moon above
Brownsville girl, show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you’re my honey love

You know, it’s funny how things never turn out the way you had ’em planned
The only thing we knew for sure about Henry Porter is that his name wasn’t Henry Porter
And you know there was somethin’ about you baby that I liked that was always too good for this world
Just like you always said there was somethin’ about me you liked
that I left behind in the French Quarter

Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content
I don’t have any regrets, they can talk about me plenty when I’m gone
You always said people don’t do what they believe in, they just do what’s most convenient, then they repent
And I always said, “Hang on to me, baby, and let’s hope that the roof stays on”

There was a movie I seen one time, I think I sat through it twice
I don’t remember who I was or where I was bound
All I remember about it was it starred Gregory Peck, he wore a gun
and he was shot in the back
Seems like a long time ago, long before the stars were torn down

Brownsville girl with your Brownsville curls
Teeth like pearls shining like the moon above
Brownsville girl, show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you’re my honey love

Certainly for me, the greatest song Bob wrote in the 80's is this huge song. A deeply loving and nostalgic epic chronicling a man's journey through the country as he reminisces about a lost love through the memory of a fading movie which the singer was possibly a part of in his dream...
There are so many incredible lines and images throughout the song and always leaves me with a sense of gratitude for those I've loved and melancholy for those I've lost...
It's also the first song I remember hearing of Bob's where we can feel an aged quality to the singer, one with a sense of resignation about where he's at and where this may all lead. In many ways, the song is the beginning of what he'd explore quite deeply on Time Out Of Mind.
An incredible creation...

Of course, the song was originally slated for Empire Burlesque as New Danville Girl...IMO a far superior version. Strongly performed with lines that bite with sharp teeth. Bob's upfront on this version and very direct and conversational unlike the polished final product which always sounded well rehearsed comparitively...
The backup singers are used amazingly effective here, as a chorus to the grand play that's unfolding.
So here she is...

New Danville Girl
Empire Burlesque Outtake (1985)
http://www.sendspace.com/file/bsvrom

So where we at these days with this song ER? Do we love it, hate it? Prefer Brownsville to Danville? Or vice versa?
Let me know Expecting Rain!


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 00:25 GMT 
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Of all of Dylan's long songs, this one is the biggest waste of time, one long shrug of meandering and pointless verbiage. Funny how songs that seem to be going somewhere go nowhere and mean nothing. I saw that movie, too. This song adds nothing to the experience.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 00:42 GMT 
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harmonica albert wrote:
Of all of Dylan's long songs, this one is the biggest waste of time, one long shrug of meandering and pointless verbiage. Funny how songs that seem to be going somewhere go nowhere and mean nothing. I saw that movie, too. This song adds nothing to the experience.



I guess you're not a fan of Quinn the Eskimo either then?


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 01:04 GMT 

Joined: Wed January 7th, 2009, 06:06 GMT
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Absolutely prefer "New Danville Girl" over "Brownsville Girl," but I really like "Brownsville Girl."

This song has my favorite line:

Oh if there’s an original thought out there, I could use it right now


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 01:10 GMT 
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i love Brownsville Girl. The cheesy 80s synth production only slightly detracts from it. i love his voice on so many of the lines. and how he fits so many words into certain sentances like "But I’m too over the edge and I ain’t in the mood anymore to remember the times when I was your only man" .
i think the officially released version is head and shoulders over the New Danville girl outtake.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 01:40 GMT 

Joined: Wed July 30th, 2008, 01:43 GMT
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Location: on the scene missing
There's a neat setting out of Brownsville side by side with Danville here - http://dylanchords.info/29_knocked/new_ ... e_girl.htm

This song's a real charmer.
I have the fancy that as one of the Gregory Peck movies referred to in Brownsville Girl is Duel in the Sun, which features a character called Pearl Chavez, the chorus may more accurately be transcribed as Brownsville Girl, with your teeth like Pearl's ... but I doubt it would hold up in court.
Picking up on something Marker said about the way New Danville Girl is sung, Brownsville Girl is an incredibly conversational song in style, and yet feels epic. It reminds me of Highlands - both are half sung and half spoken by a dreamer who's partly in the other grander world he's yearning for, and yet the narrators of both seem unusually domestic for Dylan - lining up to see movies and listening to Neil Young.
Michael Gray is excellent on Brownsville Girl's many words and how Dylan sometimes speaks and sometimes sings them.
I'm with Crimson Flames - long lines just bring out the best in Dylan.
Sure, it is meandering, but it's a great trip with Dylan as companion.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 02:03 GMT 
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I've always believed that the thing that makes this song so odd is that there the verses are each either (1) from a story by Dylan or (2) from a story by Sam Shepard and that there is no way to really tell which is which because some of the Dylan verses could also fit into Shepard's and vice versa. There may also be a third kind of verse written by the two of them together to link the other verses together better.

It is an incoherent song and a lazy one as well. But the overall effect is intoxicating. It reminds me of trying to remember the plot of a movie I saw 30 once, years ago, that, as I try to piece it together, i realize I may not have ever actually seen.

It's a lot like that.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 02:23 GMT 
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I like it a lot. Some verses are throwaways, but it's still good.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 02:35 GMT 
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One of the (published) Dylanologists wrote that it simply doesn't have the payoff it's length and construction require, and ultimately I think I agree with that. It's still a damn good ride. I prefer the Brownsville version, not only for the Elvis Presley style back-up singers ("ooohhh yeah!?!?") but Dylan's vocal is just perfect - a master class in stylistic variety, applied ever so artfully.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 03:19 GMT 
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Those who complain that it doesn't have a point are missing the point. Brownsville Girl is about meandering. It takes place in this guy's head as he wanders around his own memories... past relationships, life events, movies. It's not about endings or payoffs, it's a moment in time.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 04:23 GMT 

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Location: City of Angels
I agree.
Well said Mr. Peace.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 09:29 GMT 
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Possibly my favourite track ever!! Don't forget the revelation that is the remixed and remastered version on the '07 DYLAN collection!!


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 10:49 GMT 

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hey tell tale, the movie he's referring to is 'the gunfighter'. he specifically mentions the scene where peck is dying after being shot in the back by the town young buck/coward. check it out,one of my favorite westerns:). as for brownsville girl/new danville.. wow just one of my all time favorites. i love to roll down the windows as im flying out of dublin across the country,turn the radio waaay up and just sink into the story. It has as some lines that have really stayed with me as they paralleled a certain time in my life and a particular girl.

"How far are y'all going?" Ruby asked us with a sigh.
"We're going all the way 'til the wheels fall off and burn,
'Til the sun peels the paint and the seat covers fade and the water moccasin dies."
Ruby just smiled and said, "Ah, you know some babies never learn."

this always reminds me of 'born to run' for some reason and also of determination to keep rolling through this 'land of the living dead' till ya die in yer footsteps.

Now I've always been the kind of person that doesn't like to trespass but sometimes you just find yourself over the line.

i think we have all found ourselves over the line at some stage or another despite our best intentions.

the real chop to the heart for me has always been the line
Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content
there was this cinnamon girl one time that was a angel, always spoke the truth and her friends and others couldn't handle it so they talked behind her back, tried to cut her down..make her a outcast, i was down and out and my head was in knots and we made a connection over time...which maybe i misunderstood...stepping over the line one night and making her think i wanted something she couldn't give. it was never the same after that. she took off across the world a few years back and ive never had the chance to say sorry or clear things up. well i did see her once when she was passing through but we just made small talk and like that, she was gone again.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 11:07 GMT 

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I love this song, and always have. Of course it is pointless - isn't that the point? It's a shaggy dog story - and a very very funny one. Both recordings are excellent. I prefer Brownsville Girl for the backing singers "Oh yeah" after "They can talk about me plenty when I'm gone."


Maybe the film is The Gunfighter, but the chances are that the narrator isn't even remembering one film but every Western he's seen that featured Gregory Peck (and probably a few that didn't star Gregory Peck).

And it contains so many wonderful lines. My favourite:

"people don’t do what they believe in, they just do what’s most convenient, then they repent"

Human behaviour summed up in one long line!


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 18:22 GMT 

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The MEZ has never been a fan of this track. I prefer many other 80's tracks. MEZ


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 19:23 GMT 

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stephenoxford wrote:
Possibly my favourite track ever!! Don't forget the revelation that is the remixed and remastered version on the '07 DYLAN collection!!


Wow. High praise. Good song. Nothing special imho.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 21:51 GMT 
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harmonica albert wrote:
Of all of Dylan's long songs, this one is the biggest waste of time, one long shrug of meandering and pointless verbiage. Funny how songs that seem to be going somewhere go nowhere and mean nothing. I saw that movie, too. This song adds nothing to the experience.


Oh dear. I feel the TWAT word brewing...

The song is supposed to add something to the experience of the movie?

Anyway. For me, it is one of Dylan's great one-off things, that don't fit in with much else he's done and is all the better for it.

I love the sheer nerve of the thing: it's so SILLY! It's like a Western 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - all fake, but loud and proud of itself.

No one sings overblown twaddle like Dylan!

I sometimes wonder if Harmonica Albert really gets Dylan....


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 22:24 GMT 
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Brian Hamilton-Smith wrote:
harmonica albert wrote:
Of all of Dylan's long songs, this one is the biggest waste of time, one long shrug of meandering and pointless verbiage. Funny how songs that seem to be going somewhere go nowhere and mean nothing. I saw that movie, too. This song adds nothing to the experience.


Oh dear. I feel the TWAT word brewing...

The song is supposed to add something to the experience of the movie?

Anyway. For me, it is one of Dylan's great one-off things, that don't fit in with much else he's done and is all the better for it.

I love the sheer nerve of the thing: it's so SILLY! It's like a Western 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - all fake, but loud and proud of itself.

No one sings overblown twaddle like Dylan!

I sometimes wonder if Harmonica Albert really gets Dylan....


Name 5 Dylan songs that really suck. If you can't we can assume the problem isn't HA's. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 22:58 GMT 
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OK, it's a bit of a mess, but doesn't it have a kinship with 'Tangled Up In Blue' and 'Isis'? I don't read too much negative comment about those two. To me they seem part of the same story.


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PostPosted: Tue March 22nd, 2011, 23:16 GMT 
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onemorecup wrote:
OK, it's a bit of a mess, but doesn't it have a kinship with 'Tangled Up In Blue' and 'Isis'? I don't read too much negative comment about those two. To me they seem part of the same story.

No, those are quite different. Those are well-written.


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PostPosted: Wed March 23rd, 2011, 06:31 GMT 
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As most of you are well aware, both versions are thinly disguised reworkings of "My Johnstown Girl" a 1938 tune by Little Smokin' "Chicken" Nelson:

Image


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PostPosted: Wed March 23rd, 2011, 11:12 GMT 
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procatcher31 wrote:
onemorecup wrote:
OK, it's a bit of a mess, but doesn't it have a kinship with 'Tangled Up In Blue' and 'Isis'? I don't read too much negative comment about those two. To me they seem part of the same story.

No, those are quite different. Those are well-written.


Can't you read? I said it was 'a bit of a mess'!! I don't post very often. Can you understand why? (tears hair out...)


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PostPosted: Wed March 23rd, 2011, 11:13 GMT 
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Oh sorry, I didn't see that. My bad. Disregard my comment then.


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PostPosted: Wed March 23rd, 2011, 11:13 GMT 
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:lol:


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PostPosted: Wed March 23rd, 2011, 11:21 GMT 
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I quite like mess.
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