Percy's song - Bob Dylan

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Leeston, Jun 7, 2017.

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  1. Leeston

    Leeston Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Having just purchased "Pure Dylan" on vinyl I was jolted upright upon listening to a favourite from the Biograph" set, Percy's Song, what a wonderful narrative, great music, the sentiment expressed is still valid to this day, along with the world wearied delivery which Dylan has always been a master of.

    Timeless indeed, and to think it was a outtake.....
  2. soundfanz

    soundfanz Forum Resident

    Certainly one of my favourite Dylan tunes too. Might just have to play Biograph ( a wonderful vinyl box) to hear it now. :)
    malco49 and CCrider92 like this.
  3. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Forum Resident

    Has he ever commented on whether it was based on a real accident?
  4. Thomas Casagranda

    Thomas Casagranda Forum Resident

    I think it's a great track, although Sandy Denny really nails it with Airport Convention
  5. Sordel

    Sordel Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    As rebranded by Apple, presumably.
  6. CCrider92

    CCrider92 Forum Resident

    Cape Cod, MA
    One of Bob's greatest songs in every respect! I've searched in vain for a version Arlo Guthrie did on TV - IIRC it was just Arlo at the piano, but it was an awesome rendition.
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  7. HenryFly

    HenryFly Forum Resident

    That's one of THE great misspells on this forum:laugh::laugh:.
    BTW Forget Percy's Song (it's less tedious the way Sandy approaches it, is about as far as I'll go).
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  8. Thomas Casagranda

    Thomas Casagranda Forum Resident

    Diane Abbott's got nothing on me ! Ha, ha ! Airport, Fairport - damn you, auto correct !
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  9. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    New York, NY
    The melody is taken from an old British folk song called The Cruel Rain and Wind if I have the title correct.​
  10. Spadeygrove

    Spadeygrove Forum Resident

    Charleston, WV
  11. Rickchick

    Rickchick Forum Resident

    Arlo does a great version on his Washington County lp, though it's not solo on piano.
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  12. CCrider92

    CCrider92 Forum Resident

    Cape Cod, MA
    Yes! The piano version on TV was in support of that album.
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  13. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Couldn't believe it when I heard it on Biograph all those years ago. That one, and a host of others, support the contention that Dylan has the deepest, most interesting and satisfying treasure trove to mine when it comes to unreleased material.
  14. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Dylan wrote so many inspired songs in the early 1960s that didn't make it on an album. I've always thought he should have released another folk album collecting the cream of the crop from 1962-63-64. "Let Me Die In My Footsteps," "Seven Curses," and "Percy's Song" would definitely be on it. I believe there's three versions of "Percy's Song" to choose from, all from 1963.

    If he were to release that album even today, it would be a number one hit.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  15. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Frenchtown NJ USA
  16. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Frenchtown NJ USA
  17. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Agitation: Dead Crimson Cow. Amon.

    This one and Seven Curses are right up there in the "What the hell were you thinking?" category. But we've got 'em, so no complaints. Top shelf in every way.
    Natural E, guppy270 and PonceDeLeroy like this.
  18. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    What do you mean by "what the hell were you thinking category?" ?

    Folk music is by definition a tradition that is passed down from one person to another, from one generation to another, from one culture to another. Folk music requires repetition and imitation, which are seen as admirable. So why should Dylan's songs be thought of as somehow diminished by following the same practice as everybody else? Nobody criticizes Jody Stecher for singing a song he didn't write. The original is little more than a refrain linking together derivative folk-song references. Dylan applies the refrain to a narrative of consequence and pathos which in turn makes the wording of the refrain fresh and relevant again. And the refrain is the briefest part of the song. I don't care which or what traditional old song or songs Dylan drew from, he makes something new and different and very special out of it. When Dylan wrote and performed "Percy's Song" his hands were clean and his thinking was trenchant and good.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  19. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    When I first became obsessed with Bob in the 1970's I acquired his official catalogue, and then (with the difficulties of the day) began to acquire his unofficial releases on boots. I could never understand why "Percy's Song", among many many other unreleased Dylan recordings were never officially released. Especially when the record companies would complain about the lost revenue to bootleggers. It was not until decades later that they finally realised that if they released the songs we would by them, and be marveled by them.
  20. davenav

    davenav High Plain Grifter

    Brooklyn, USA
    I think he meant - what were they thinking when they left those songs off the albums.
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  21. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Oh. Of course.

    If Columbia had released another Bob Dylan folk album, collecting the studio outtakes from his first four albums, which songs would people include?

    I would include

    Percy's Song
    Let Me Die In My Footsteps
    Rambling Gambling Willie
    Seven Curses
    Man On the Street
    He Was a Friend of Mine
    Talking Bear Mountain
    Talkin' John Birch
    Ballad of Donald White
    Rocks and Gravel
    Worried Blues
    (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle Blues
    The Death of Emmett Till

    That's already more time than a 1964 long-playing record could accomodate.
  22. JMGuerr

    JMGuerr Forum Resident

    new mexico

    In 1964? I don't think that album would have happened. I think Dylan was well "past" this material as evidenced by the release of Another Side six months after the release of Times.
    There were plans to release Bob Dylan in Concert, a live album consisting of tracks from Dylan's Carnegie Hall and Town Hall concerts (Percy's Song, Seven Curses, among others), but the album was scrapped because the material was deemed "out of date".
  23. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    I know. This question was put in the realm of "what if?"

    Doesn't make a lot of sense, I know.

    I still think the studio songs I listed would make a terrific album.

    The question of their being out of date or in date is moot now.
  24. Craig Williams

    Craig Williams Forum Resident

    If Percy's Song wasn't released till the 80s where had Fairport heard it to do their own version?
  25. GypsyDavey

    GypsyDavey Forum Pyromaniac

    Lay Down Your Weary Tune would be the first song I'd pick.
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