Sunday, August 16, 2015

Railroad Bill

I fear Railroad Bill.
He'll take whatever he wants
And kill everyone.

Here's a portrait of a bad man named Bill who rides the railroad like the mean old hobo he is. Bob Dylan recorded this old folk song in 1969 or 1970 during the "Self Portrait"/"New Morning" sessions, but it sat on the shelf until 201X when it was released on volume 10 of the Bootleg Series.

The crimes of Railroad Bill:
- Never worked
- Never will
- Mighty mean
- Shot the midnight lantern out of the brakeman's hand
- Took my wife, threatened to kill me if I resisted

The revenge of the singer:
- He bought a .38 and is taking it out West, presumably to find Bill and shoot him.
- As the singer notes, "Honey honey honey, think that I'm a fool? Think I would quit you when the weather is cool? Ride ride ride..."

Here's a cover of the song. I couldn't find one by Dylan.

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