Saturday, June 13, 2015

If Dogs Run Free

If dogs can do it,
We can too. Running free is
Good for harmony.

"If Dogs Run Free" is a singular song in the Bob Dylan catalogue. The last song on side one of 1970's "New Morning," it is the only jazz arrangement that he's ever done, at least that I can think of. The loose tone is accentuated by some truly inspired (and strange) scat vocalizing from Maeretha Stewart. I can't say what the song is about, but it gives any aspiring interpreter plenty of material to comb through.

If dogs run free, then:
- Why not we?
- Why not me?

Received wisdom:
- "The best is always yet to come / That's what they explain to me / Just do your thing, you'll be king."
- "To each his own."
- "What must be must be."
- True love can make grass stand up.
- True love needs no company. "It can cure the soul."

- Ears hear symphony scored for two mules, trains and rain
- Mind weaves symphony/tapestry
- Winds rush his tales to you.
- The swamp of time and the cosmic sea... if dogs run free.

Here's the studio version:

Here is an unexpected live version of the song from Newcastle, England, in 2002:

1 comment:

  1. Hello there Robert, Thank you for posting this analysis of a song from Bob Dylan's Music Box: Come and join us inside and listen to every song composed, recorded or performed by Bob Dylan, plus all the great covers streaming on YouTube, Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud plus so much more... including this link.