Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bob Dylan: Just Like A Woman

Written by: Bob Dylan
Recorded: March 8, 1966: Columbia Studios, Nashville, TN
Released: August 1966
Album: Blonde on Blonde
Label: Columbia

Here's a young Bob Dylan.  Some have claimed the song is misogynist, but I see it as a personal story of a young man in pain, placed in a position of respectful awe of the power that women have over men. It's really a love song of a man for a woman, albeit made painfully raw by the (often) harsh realities of human relationship.

The song has been ranked by Rolling Stone magazine at no. 230 in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Some interesting notes, including the song's supposed object of affection, are given voice in Wikipedia:
Dylan wrote "Just Like a Woman" on November 25, 1965 (Thanksgiving Day) in Kansas City while on tour.[5] It was allegedly inspired by New York socialite Edie Sedgwick,[5] who frequented Andy Warhol's Factory at around the same time that Dylan was introduced to Warhol. Sedgewick had a tendency to catch the attention of musicians; The Velvet Underground's Lou Reed wrote "Femme Fatale", released on 1967's The Velvet Underground & Nico album, about Sedgwick at roughly the same time.[6]

"Just Like a Woman" has also been rumored to have been written about Dylan's relationship with fellow folk singer Joan Baez.[1] In particular, the lines "Please don't let on that you knew me when/I was hungry and it was your world" seem to refer to the early days of their relationship, when Baez was more famous than Dylan.[1]

Just Like A Woman
By Bob Dylan

Nobody feels any pain tonight as I stand inside the rain
Ev'rybody knows that baby's got new clothes
But lately I see her ribbons and her bows
Have fallen from her curls

And she takes just like a woman
And she aches just like a woman
And she wakes just like a woman
Yeah but she breaks just like a little girl

Queen Mary, she's my friend yes, I believe I'll go see her again
Nobody has to guess that baby can't be blessed
Till she sees finally that she's like all the rest
With her fog, her amphetamine and her pearls

She takes just like a woman
And she wakes just like a woman
And she aches just like a woman
But she breaks just like a little girl

It's was raining from the first and I was dying there of thirst
So I came in here and your long-time curse hurts
But what's worse is this pain in here
I can't stay in here ain't it clear that

I just don't fit yes, I believe it's time for us to quit
When we meet again, introduced as friends
Please don't let on that you knew me when
I was hungry and it was your world

You take just like a woman
And you ache just like a woman
And you make love just like a woman
But you break just like a little girl

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