Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Tomorrow Is A Long Time

It's funny how you can be in the midst of something and a song can stop you in your tracks- in this case not even the song I'm posting here but a flicker of acoustic guitar that sounded like it and straight away in my head it turned into this one. The second or two of folk guitar in the background on TV propelled me to my CDs, pull this out and play it. 

Tomorrow Is A Long Time

Bob Dylan recorded Tomorrow Is A Long Time sixty years ago on 12th April 1963 while playing a gig at New York Town Hall. Just the young Bob, an acoustic guitar and a microphone very close to his mouth, three verses, each finishing with these lines-

'Yes and only if my own true love was waitin'/ And if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin'/ Yes, only if she was lyin' by me/ Then I'd lie in my bed once again'. 

I put the disc into the tray and pressed play, sat back, listened and then played it again several times. A song about loneliness, love and waiting, sweetly sung, a few fingerpicked chords with a capo on the third fret, over half a century ago.  

Dylan chose not to release the song until 1971. He recorded a demo of it in December 1962 but went no further. Joan Baez played it live. Elvis did a cover in 1966 as did Odetta and Judy Collins, Dorris Henderson and The Kingston Trio. In 1970 and 1971 there was a dearth of new Dylan product, Bob having retreated from fame and generational spokesperson status. The head CBS records suggested a new Bob Dylan Greatest Hits double album, eventually titled More Greatest Hits. Dylan agreed and said he'd compile it himself with an entire side made up of unreleased archive recordings of which Tomorrow Is A Long Time was one. In September 1971 Bob went into a studio and re- recorded several songs that eventually came out on The Basement Sessions in 1974- I Shall Be Released, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere and Down In Then Flood. They closed side four of More Greatest Hits, along with When I Paint My Masterpiece (also unreleased and dating from March '71), sequenced following two previously released songs, If Not For You (from 1970) and It's All over Now Baby Blue (from 1965). The latter jumps out stylistically, upsetting the flow of side four a little, but the other songs are as good a run of songs as any Dylan put out in the 1970s with 1963's Tomorrow Is A Long Time sandwiched in and somehow fitting perfectly. 


Ernie Goggins said...

Top tune. Sandy Denny does a lovely version as well, but you can't beat Bob. Sandy's version: https://youtu.be/f9NfETcXc1U?si=J2EZkN_5xEzdPtPX

Rol said...

Until more recently, when I finally started getting into Dylan properly after years of resistance, I was more familiar with the Elvis version. But it's a great song whoever's singing it, and like so much of Dylan's "unreleased" material, it makes you wonder why someone in the record company didn't get it out sooner, one way or another.

Jase said...

Link Wray's version of It's All Over Now Baby Blue is pretty awesome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcAKGAEYBu8

George said...

Rod Stewart covers the song on Every Picture Tells a Story

Swiss Adam said...

I had a private wager with myself that if I didn't mention the Rod Stewart cover, George would.

The Sandy Denny cover is lovely Ernie.

The Swede said...

Rod's was the first version of the song I heard, a few years before I got into Dylan, terrific it is too. As indeed is Presley's. I've only ever seen Bob perform it twice, most memorably as a duet with Benmont Tench at Wembley Arena in 1987.

George said...

How much did you win on your wager? Adn The Swede is of course absolutely correct

Swiss Adam said...

£5 George. Enough to buy myself a pint tomorrow night.