Friday, June 17, 2016

I Like the Cover Better: My Back Pages

This cover of Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages" is why I like the song "My Back Pages."

I'd heard the original, but it took The Ramones (here fronted by C.J. Ramone on vocals) to make it more than just a Dylan song that I didn't pay much attention to.

Going back to any of Dylan's versions (like this all-star one) and the cover by The Byrds, yes, I like it a lot. I love the lyrics, every single one of them, especially the refrain ("Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now") and this:

"In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow."

That last couplet, especially - it's a line that sticks with me when I can't see my way forward, and reminds me it's all going to look like foolishness or wisdom once I see where I've ended up. Plus it's flat-out fun to sing. Especially when it's C.J. Ramone singing.

I only ever saw The Ramones live with C.J., and they performed this. It's probably when the song really slammed into me and said, pay attention, these are words you want to hear.

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