Photo courtesy of brizzle born and bred, used under Creative Commons license

The fifty best Bob Dylan songs

Most people who get sick with a cold or the flu just curl up in bed or watch a dumb movie on TV. Not my dad. Here’s the story my brother and I got from my mom a couple weeks ago:

“When Dad was sick with a cold last week I bought the current Rolling Stone Magazine because it had Bob Dylan’s picture on it and flipping through, I saw there was an interview, so thought it might help him pass some time. I did not look at the back, but apparently the Rolling Stone panel had selected the top 100 Dylan songs and because they don’t all match Dad’s choices, he has asked me to share his list and their rankings with you.”

He asked my mom to send it to us because, of course, my dad doesn’t have anything to do with computers. So, my brother and I made lists of our own. Here’s mine:

  1. “Like A Rolling Stone”
  2. “Maggie’s Farm”
  3. “Not Dark Yet”
  4. “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
  5. “House Carpenter”
  6. “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll”
  7. “When The Ship Comes In”
  8. “With God On Our Side”
  9. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”
  10. “The Times They Are A-Changin'”
  11. “Masters Of War”
  12. “Highlands”
  13. “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down”
  14. “Cold Irons Bound”
  15. “Forever Young”
  16. “When I Paint My Masterpiece”
  17. “Tombstone Blues”
  18. “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”
  19. “Girl from the North Country”
  20. “Seven Curses”
  21. “Desolation Row”
  22. “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”
  23. “High Water (For Charley Patton)”
  24. “Most Of The Time”
  25. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
  26. “Boots Of Spanish Leather”
  27. “Ballad Of A Thin Man”
  28. “I Shall Be Released”
  29. “The Ballad Of Hollis Brown”
  30. “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”
  31. “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”
  32. “Kingsport Town”
  33. “Highway 61 Revisited”
  34. “Dirt Road Blues”
  35. “Drifter’s Escape”
  36. “Outlaw Blues”
  37. “All Along The Watchtower”
  38. “Blowin’ In The Wind”
  39. “Who Killed Davey Moore?”
  40. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
  41. “Love Sick”
  42. “Where Teardrops Fall”
  43. “Mama, You Been On My Mind”
  44. “Foot Of Pride”
  45. “Someday Baby”
  46. “Thunder On The Mountain”
  47. “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum”
  48. “Man In The Long Black Coat”
  49. “Everything Is Broken”
  50. “The Levee’s Gonna Break”

I looked at neither my dad’s list nor my brother’s before making my own, but not surprisingly there was some crossover:

  • Three songs were in both my top ten list and my dad’s: “Like A Rolling Stone”, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”, and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”
  • Four songs were in both my top ten list and brother’s: “Like A Rolling Stone”, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”, “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll”, and “Maggie’s Farm”
  • My dad and brother crossed over on only two: “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Desolation Row”.
  • Obviously “Like A Rolling Stone” was the only song to make all of our top ten lists. My brother and I both independently ranked it #1. So, in what seemed a rather obvious move, did Rolling Stone. My dad claims his top ten was “not in order”, but “Like A Rolling Stone” was listed first, so I’m holding him to that and saying that we all picked it.

My dad’s top ten, by the way:

  • “Like a Rolling Stone”
  • “Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”
  • “Desolation Row”
  • “Blowin’ In The Wind”
  • “Forever Young”
  • “Girl From the North Country”
  • “Highlands”
  • “Farewell Angelina”
  • “She Belongs To Me”
  • “High Water”

And my brother’s:

  1. “Like a Rolling Stone”
  2. “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”
  3. “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”
  4. “Desolation Row”
  5. “Blind Willie McTell”
  6. “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”
  7. “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”
  8. “Masters of War”
  9. “The Times They Are a-Changin'”
  10. “Maggie’s Farm”


Photo courtesy of brizzle born and bred, used under Creative Commons license

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