Saturday, May 23, 2015

Girl From the North Country

If you go up north,
Check on my former girlfriend.
She might get chilly.

"Girl From the North Country" appeared on two Bob Dylan albums. The first version, sad and bleak, appeared on "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" in 1963. The second was a duet with Johnny Cash, warm and friendly, which opened the 1969 album "Nashville Skyline" and carries a suitably memorable scene in the film "Silver Linings Playbook." The song is simple enough: the singer pines for his former lover, far up north, presumably in Minnesota's north country where Bob came from. Who the woman in the song is really supposed to be is up to the Dylanologists and the Picayunese to research.

If you go north, you'll discover hard winds by the border. If you see my ex, please say hello. I used to really love her. By the way, check to see if she's wearing her coat. The river will freeze and there will be snow. Is her hair still long? I remember that look well. I wonder if she remembers me. I still think about her, day and night.

Here are both versions, each beautiful in their ways.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Robert, thank you for this new piece of interesting analysis. Join us inside Bob Dylan's Music Box and listen to every version of every song.