Posts Tagged ‘Suze Motolo’

Tune du Jour: “When The Ship Comes In” – Bob Dylan
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: 
David Franklin vs. The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O’Connell with Tommy Makem
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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You used to be so amused, At Broccoli Man, and the carrot for a guitar he used ...

You used to be so amused,
At Broccoli Man,
and the carrot for a guitar he used …

When The Ship Comes In appears on Bob Dylan’s third album, The Times They Are A-Changin’, released in 1964. According to Joan Baez, Dylan wrote When The Ship Comes In in a hotel room, incensed, after the clerk initially denied him a room. The clerk had felt the remarkably unkempt Mr. Dylan was not the type of guest the establishment preferred to accommodate. Baez, who was traveling with Dylan, had to intervene on his behalf, vouching for his “good character”.

According to Dylan’s old girlfriend, Suze Motolo, as well as his biographer, Clinton Heylin, an additional inspiration for the song was probably Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill’s song, Pirate Jenny. Pirate Jenny, from the Threepenny Opera, tells of Jenny’s dark dream of a mysterious ship that arrives to vanquish her foes.

While these suppositions represent the generally accepted beliefs on the origin of the song, in fact, Dylan’s inspiration for When The Ship Comes In was actually the celebrated composition, I’ll No Longer Shave For You, by the criminally underappreciated Gatorwood Sunshine Singers, a tune that, oddly enough, would not be written until decades later.

The Original

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Bob Dylan:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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David Franklin vs. The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O’Connell with special guest Tommy Makem

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David Franklin:

The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O’Connell with special guest Tommy Makem:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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