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Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
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Music 
Bob Dylan: "Highway 61 Revisited"

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Released: December 21, 1965

In his memoir Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan described the kinship he felt with the route that supplied the title of his sixth album: "Highway 61, the main thoroughfare of the country blues, begins about where I began. I always felt like I'd started on it, always had been on it and could go anywhere, even down in to the deep Delta country. It was the same road, full of the same contradictions, the same one-horse towns, the same spiritual ancestors ... It was my place in the universe, always felt like it was in my blood."

When he was growing up in the 1950s, Highway 61 stretched from the Canada–US border through Duluth, where Dylan was born, and St. Paul all the way down to New Orleans. Along the way, the route passed near the birthplaces and homes of influential musicians such as Muddy Waters, Son House, Elvis Presley and Charley Patton. The "empress of the blues", Bessie Smith, died after sustaining serious injuries in an automobile accident on Highway 61. Critic Mark Polizzotti points out that blues legend Robert Johnson is alleged to have sold his soul to the devil at the highway's crossroads with Route 49. The highway had also been the subject of several blues recordings, notably Roosevelt Sykes' "Highway 61 Blues" (1932) and Mississippi Fred McDowell's "61 Highway" (1964).

Dylan has stated that he had to overcome considerable resistance at Columbia Records to give the album its title. He told biographer Robert Shelton: "I wanted to call that album Highway 61 Revisited. Nobody understood it. I had to go up the fucking ladder until finally the word came down and said: 'Let him call it what he wants to call it'." Michael Gray has suggested that the very title of the album represents Dylan's insistence that his songs are rooted in the traditions of the blues: "Indeed the album title Highway 61 Revisited announces that we are in for a long revisit, since it is such a long, blues-travelled highway. Many bluesmen had been there before [Dylan], all recording versions of a blues called 'Highway 61'."


Lyrics: Computer Read


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Highway 61 Revisited

Written by: Bob Dylan

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”

Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”

God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”

God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but

The next time you see me comin’ you better run”

Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”

God says, “Out on Highway 61”



Well Georgia Sam he had a bloody nose

Welfare Department they wouldn’t give him no clothes

He asked poor Howard where can I go

Howard said there’s only one place I know

Sam said tell me quick man I got to run

Ol’ Howard just pointed with his gun

And said that way down on Highway 61



Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King

I got forty red, white and blue shoestrings

And a thousand telephones that don’t ring

Do you know where I can get rid of these things

And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son

And he said yes I think it can be easily done

Just take everything down to Highway 61



Now the fifth daughter on the twelfth night

Told the first father that things weren’t right

My complexion she said is much too white

He said come here and step into the light, he says hmm you’re right

Let me tell the second mother this has been done

But the second mother was with the seventh son

And they were both out on Highway 61



Now the rovin’ gambler he was very bored

He was tryin’ to create a next world war

He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor

He said I never engaged in this kind of thing before

But yes I think it can be very easily done

We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun

And have it on Highway 61

Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music


Source: BobDylan.com
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