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What’s Your Favorite Bob Dylan Song?

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One of the Brit papers played off this week’s broadcast debut of No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (the DVD has been out for about a week) by asking various celebrities to name their favorite Dylan songs. Some of the replies were unsurprising (Patti Smith loves “Like A Rolling Stone”); one was a cheat, albeit a fun one (Tom Waits names all of The Basement Tapes); one was unexpected (Respect MP George Galloway is keen on “Tangled Up In Blue”). I guess that’s one of the defining misfortunes of being famous: people think nothing of calling you out of the blue and asking you questions like, “What’s your favorite Bob Dylan song?”.

But if some reporter comes knocking on my door one of these days, I’ll have my answer locked and loaded: depending on my mood, either “Visions Of Johanna” (off the incomparable Blonde On Blonde) or “Every Grain Of Sand” (from the underrated Shot Of Love). In the universe of great songs Dylan has created, those are the two stars that shine the brightest for me.

“Visions Of Johanna” is, among other things, a treasury of great lines, starting right from the opening: “Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet?”. Intriguing, puzzling and inviting, it makes the listener hold his breath and listen as the song sketches in a finely observed, somewhat rundown apartment in a closely-packed building (“Lights flicker from the opposite loft/ In this room the heat pipes just cough”). If I were writing a novel and hit upon that kind of opening line, I’d be torn between knocking off for rest of the night, or crashing forward for another few hours in the hopes of capturing its mate.

A seemingly tossed-off phrase (“Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial”) generates a stream of lines that creates, in the viewer’s mind, a veritable museum of absurdist imagery (“When the jelly-faced women all sneeze . . . Jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule”). But it always comes back to a vision of someone who isn’t there -– someone the singer longs to see.

It could be romantic longing, but the writing doesn’t support that. Indeed, the song’s most famous line –- “The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face” –- is hardly warm praise. I think Johanna is a muse, a reminder of what the singer should be working toward, instead of wasting his time at a dull party.

“Every Grain Of Sand,” the startlingly gentle coda to the loud and angry Shot Of Love album, is the song I want played at my funeral. The two hard-nosed gospel albums that preceded it (Slow Train Coming and Saved) were all about the harshness of certainty. “Gotta Serve Somebody” is the evangelical version of “Like A Rolling Stone” -– where the earlier song aimed its knowing scorn at an anonymous Miss Lonely, its born-again successor targets the listener and anyone else who doesn’t share the singer’s hard-shelled faith. That the song is expertly played and well produced -– qualities not always found in the Dylan canon –- hardly makes it more inviting: the singer is eyeballing you through a slot in the church door, and odds are you haven’t got the right password.

What an unexpected pleasure, then, to find this evangelical cycle come to an end with “Every Grain Of Sand”, a song about the beauty of doubt. The comfort of faith is there, but the singer is no longer convinced that salvation is his. Sometimes he even seems to doubt salvation itself:

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea/ Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me.

The song includes two of the longest harmonica solos Dylan has ever played on record. I think Dylan’s harp playing is underrated, but I realize part of the reason for that is he usually goes for the hardest, sharpest sound possible. The playing on “Every Grain Of Sand” is still a little rough, but also gentle and, in the most surprising way, reassuring. It carries the song and the listener into the very center of what the singer is striving for, and doesn’t quite realize he has within his grasp.

Originally published in The Opinion Mill.

Edited: GS

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About Steven Hart

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    it is always changing. however, with the addition of new soundtrack… I’d say it’s

    Just like Tom Thumb’s Blues

  • J.P.

    Interesting thoughts…
    My favorite Dylan song is often overlooked when viewing his opinions of the media. I think “Restless Farewell” off of “The Times They Are A-Changin'” has done more in a few verses of describing Dylan’s often adversarial view of the outside world than have numerous other writers from the outside looking in. It’s a sweeping autobiography and a great campfire song all at the same time, and there aren’t many songs written that can do both.

  • http://perfidy.org John Owen

    I know it’s probably heresy of me to skip right past all Dylan’s great stuff from back in the day, but depending on my mood my favorite Dylan song is either “Things Have Changed” or “Not Dark Yet.” The late 1990s are where it’s at for me.

    What can I say? I’m a dang philistine.

  • troll

    Visions of Johanna as performed by the Dead

    troll

  • Mark Yackley

    For me it also changes constantly.. But right now it would have to be “Lay Down Your Weary Tune” off of Biograph and heard at the end of the No Direction Home DVD during the end credits. Mark.

  • http://stolenpony.blogspot.com jones violet

    Right now it’s “Like A Rolling Stone”, but it changes between “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, “Masters of War” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”.

    I hope we can pick more than one!

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    My favorite changes often as well. I will go new school for the moment: “Not Dark Yet” and “Things Have Changed” have been getting it done for me.

    “Not Dark Yet” is a masterpiece.

  • godoggo

    I remember listening to Pete Seeger’s recording of “One Grain of Sand” when I was a toddler, which, ahem, predates that Dylan album.

    Googling the title, the first hit is “One Grain of Sand : A Lullaby: Books by Pete Seeger,Linda Wingerter.”

    Didn’t look closely at the other hits on the page, but no mention of Dylan.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    I’m predictable too and not a Dylan fan necessarily, so it’s “Like a Rolling Stone” for me.

    I must say that I loved Scorsese’s documentary last night and will definitely tune in tonight. I might give Dylan another chance based on it despite the fact that the documentary confirmed many of the things I’ve always thought about him. Nonetheless, he’s a fascinating character and is actually quite well-spoken: an ambitious, opportunistic, self-interested, apolitical yet current chameleon of an artist who wasn’t afraid to borrow from others liberally to find the source material for his own unique force of character and will. Scorsese is brilliant and you forget what an akward, geeky, chubby kid Dylan was coming up and finding himself. We have the image of the fake Picasso mustachioed, skinny artist/living legend in our heads now, but you really got a sense of how hungry he was to invent his own identity, ignore his real past, and present a fake one (“I grew up in New Mexico learning the cowboy songs”) so he could become a mysterious icon rather than plain old Bobby Zimmerman from Minnesota.

    I kinda like “Masters at War” too even though I always got the sense that Dylan’s poetic politics were more about the words than any concrete stands.

    That is all.

  • godoggo

    I love Dylan, but my knowledge is kind of limited. Musically, I very much prefer the acoustic stuff, largely because of the vocals, which were unpolished but still musical. I think it was when he went electric that his singing really started to get ugly, and also sort of abitrary, as he often seemed to be just hollering the songs with much passion but little apparent attention to the words. Also, I wasn’t nuts about his bands, maybe with the exception of Subterranean Homesick-type stuff, where they were effective enough. For me the interest on the electric stuff is overwhelmingly the lyrics, which had continued developing, whereas his acoustic songs usually work for me as unified pieces.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Steve, thats some great analysis, musing, whatever with regards two of my own favourite Dylan songs also. The stuff about how Visions Of Johanna is about what you should be doing when you’re doing something else, i never thought of that.

    Let’s see, favourite Dylan… i think, possibly, “Spanish Harlem Incident”, although that record (Another Side Of…) has two others that could easily make it depending on the mood, To Ramona and Ballad In Plain D.
    I adore the version of Desolation Row to be found on the Bootleg Series release of the Free Trade Hall concert. also, Mamma You Been On My Mind is just beautiful.
    Too many, far too damn many. One Too Many Mornings has often captured the mood i been in, unfortunately, but it’s all good, on account of the song’s beautiful. And this is without mentionin I Threw It All Away or Gates Of Eden or If You See Her, Say Hello, which i find impossible to listen to sometimes, much like Buckets Of Rain, the poigniancy in that just slices the flesh off a my damn spine.
    Too many, i already went well past the One i was allowed. I dunno if i could ever answer such a question.
    And Jokerman, too, lest we forget.
    And Talkin John Birch Paranoid Blues.
    again, great stuff, man.
    And Idiot Wind.
    And Cold Irons Bound.

  • godoggo

    Incidentally, I’ve been listening to, bootleg series, um, let me look, vol. 2, and in many cases I prefer these presumably earlier interpretations (if not the lyrics) to the takes that were released, because he sticks closer to the melodies.

    Seems to me that in a way he is going for a jazz thing in all this improvising (I understand that Billie Holliday was an influence), but that requires a minimal amount of chops.

    I really like this profoundly screwed-up couplet:

    “He looked for work and money and he walked a ragged mile/ Oh your children are so hungry that they don’t know how to smile.”

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    You, sir, are asking the impossible.

    –Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands: Haunting and hypnotic.
    –Desolation Row: Takes you places you don’t want to go.
    –Don’t Think Twice
    –One Too Many Mornings
    –Girl From the North Country
    –One More Night
    –Visions of Johanna
    –One of us Must Know
    –Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
    –Ballad of a Thin Man
    –In my Time of Dyin’
    –Song to Woddy
    –See That My Grave is Kept Clean
    –When the Ship Comes In
    –Baby You Been on my Mind
    –With God on Our Side
    –Only a Pawn in their Game
    –When the Ship Comes In

    And that’s off the top of my head.

    In Jamesons Veritas

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    damn it to hell, i forgot when the ship comes in. my favourite version is on the bootleg series (the box one, wi 1-3, i think it’s vol.1 technically that the track is on) where he does it with piano.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    oh, also ‘Seven Curses’ from the very first Bootleg series

  • http://elsaelsa.com elsa

    Brownsville Girl…

  • MT

    Simple Twist of Fate – Don’t Think Twice – Mr. Tambourine Man – Like A Rolling Stone – Blowin’ In The Wind

  • sonny

    godogo,

    the dylan song is called ‘EVERY grain of sand’

    lots of great ones already picked. i’ll add “it’s alright ma (i’m only bleeding)”

    the original version on BIABH

    sonny

  • godoggo

    I knew that!!!

    Uh, bye.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    ok, i thought it over. it’s:

    Forever Young

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Duke, good call on “Cold Irons Bound.”

    I just thought of a few more… “It’s All Right, Don’t Think Twice” and “Every Grain of Sand” are nearly perfect. “Desolation Row” – I can’t believe I got to see him do that one live in Nashville!

    It’s too damn hard to choose one.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    The second part of the documentary wasn’t as good as the first, but still interesting stuff, especially the whole brouhaha at the Newport Folk Festival.

    The footage of old press conferences in the UK showed what silly questions stiff, formal journalists at the time would ask and showed an akward but playful Dylan in his younger years.

    “Hard Rain” is also a great song. There are some songs Dylan sings which are just painfully affected and difficult to listen to, however.

    That is all.

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    I love “Every Grain of Sand” — but by far the best version is by Emmylou Harris. Dylan’s lost years were mostly a decline in performance, not songwriting. Oh Mercy, for instance — a good, but hardly great album — turns out to have included mediocre performances of truly great songs. When Bob revisited “Shooting Star” on Unplugged, it became a gem. “Man in the Long Black Coat” was pretty dull on Oh Mercy, but Joan Osborne demonstrated that it was in fact a stunning piece of songwriting.

    Favorite Dylan song? Maybe “To Ramona” from Another Side of. Or “Tomorrow is a Long Time” — which appears only on Greatest Hits Volume 2.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Brother Hart, this was a particularly choice turn of phrase, describing “Gotta Serve Somebody”: “the singer is eyeballing you through a slot in the church door, and odds are you haven’t got the right password.” Sweet- but still one of my top Dylan songs. I have a Dylan mix CD that I conjured up, titled “Bob Dylan’s Finger of Judgement.” Wagging the finger in your face is one of Dylan’s more effective artistic strategies. Hey this is starting to sound like a new post…

    Then again, “Every Grain of Sand” is considerably better. Religious issues aside, that’s just a particularly choice melody.

    Likewise in the range of “nice” Dylan Christian songs, “I Believe in You” rates right up there. Have you ever heard Sinead O’Connor’s version? Holy crap, it’s good.

    Anway, looking for a slightly less than obvious favorite Dylan, I’ll emphasize his underappreciated humor. I’m going with “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.”

    Favorite part, he goes to the bank looking for a loan to bail his friends out of jail. “They asked me for some collateral, so I pulled down my pants.”

    Second best, “I said,’you know they refused Jesus too,’ and he said, ‘You’re not him.'”

  • steve

    lay lady lay

  • Michelle

    What ever Dylan does is great, he has a way of moving me to a dream. There is no one like him, his music and style are magical!

  • Tony

    It’s Alright Ma, I’m only Bleeding
    Ballad of a Thin Man
    Highwater
    Where are you Tonight?
    Tangled Up in Blue

  • The Duke

    It’s all right Ma, I’m only bleeding.

    and Forever Young — This is a confession… done by Rod Stewart.

    I know, I know…. I have committed the heresy of the unhip. But the Stewart outfit really kicked butt on that release. Later on Big Country had this overall sound and texture, which reminded a lot of the Stewart sound on that release.

    Best live performance was the Dylan segment on Concert for Bangaladesh… amazingly good.

  • sheldon

    “Brownsville Girl” – (1986)

    Co-written with Sam Shepard – the playwright, not the doctor that “The Fugitive” was based on!

    “You always said that people don’t do what they believe in, they just do what’s most convenient, then they repent…”

    I seem to recollect reading somewhere that the name of the Gregory Peck movie referred to in the song is called “The Gunfighter”

  • George

    My pick for favorite Dylan song and one that most often does not receive the credit it deserves is “Quinn the Eskimo”

  • Vern Halen

    Lily, Rosemary & the Jack of Hearts. Or maybe The Ballad of Hollis Brown, depending on my mood.

  • http://mondoretro@blogspot.com mondo retro

    right on for “visions” and “every grain of sand.” those happen to be my two favorites also. i would also add “abandoned love” (from biograph), “to ramona,” “desolation row,” and “if not for you” (bootleg series version w/ george harrison- “are you ready, george?).

    this is too hard!!

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Ah, “The Ballad of Hollis Brown.” Dylan’s own performance is brilliant, of course, but the cover by the Neville Brothers has to be heard — equally haunting.

  • Baronius

    Tangled Up in Blue – #1 in my book
    Hard Rain – maybe his best protest-era song
    Series of Dreams – nobody’s mentioned it yet?
    All Along the Watchtower, Hendrix version – obvious, I know, but it’s really good
    Positively 4th Street – unparalleled lyrics

  • Liam Gallagher

    1. Tangled Up In Blue

    2. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    1. One More Cup of Coffee.
    2. You’re a Big Girl Now.
    3. Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.
    4. Knockin on Heaven’s Door.

    (Nicer comment here than on my Dylan comment thread, Booey. Maybe there’s hope for you yet.)

  • Pauline

    I Shall Be Released is my favorite Dylan song.

    Greatest song ever written IMHO!

  • http://mondoretro.blogspot.com mondo retro

    i also would like to add “mama you been on my mind” and “isis.”

  • Harry Chambers

    For me, it has got to be; that paean of praise…”Gotta serve somebody”`
    I can just picture all those “Angel cats in shades an` hats, diggin` the rhythm an` rhyme an` slippin` in some scat…oooblee dooblee bop bop bop…The Lord is where its at!”

  • Toby

    positively 4th street is my fave dylan song, it has such great lyrics and is really uplifting

  • audrey

    so hard to decide!
    but i think JOKERMAN on the INFIDELS album is the best Bob Dylan song ever.

    Following close, and tied for second, would be:

    Visions of Johanna
    Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
    Blind Willie McTell
    Boots of Spanish Leather
    Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight
    A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

    and, obviously
    Not Dark Yet

    but in the end, i think its safe to say that Dylan is a genius.

  • YANIS

    MASTER OF WAR

  • http://www.bobice-bolieve.blogspot.com Jewels

    “Hurricane”, one of my favs, I love the “Desire” LP. All of it.

  • steve

    anything off nashville skyline is tops

  • http://www.bobice-bolieve.blogspot.com Michael

    “It Ain’t Me Babe” off of the ‘Greatest Hits’. LPs can be lame but not when it comes Bob Dylan. As we know most of the time “greatest hits” albums come together because of the draw to folks who are not all that familiar with their work or do not have enough experience to pick a defining LP.

  • graham elders

    it ain’t me babe

  • tom rose

    hurricane, best song ever

  • kyle

    1. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
    2. Desolation Row
    3. Hurricane
    4. House of the Rising Sun
    5. Masters of War
    6. Chimes of Freedom
    7. North Country Blues
    8. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
    9. Visions of Johanna
    10. Subterranean Homesick Blues

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Oh god, so many! Let me offer two: “Visions of Johanna” and “Tangled Up in Blue.” (Gotta give “Masters of War” an honorable mention.) And apologies to all the Dylan songs I wanted to mention… :(

  • Jenna

    shelter from the storm, all along the watchtower, masters of war, knocking of heavens door, tangled up in blue, visions of johanna, hurricane, girl from the north country… umm wow there are so many more i could just go on forever

  • http://www.myspace.com/aj_n_scooby_snacks Matt

    I would definately have to say one of the best songs I’ve heard which truly defines bob dylans philosophy would be It’s Alright Ma (I’m only Bleeding) if you get the song look up the lyrcis and read it as he wrote it, true poetry. His philosophy is as true to mine. Most Ingenius I wish i could write like he does, beautiful peice there man if you read this

  • Dan

    Dont Think Twice, Idiot Wind, Desolation Row, and Joey, probably the only 11 minute song that I could ever enjoy throught and know every word

  • Antonio Mendez

    Blowing in the Wind
    Girl from the North Country
    A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall
    Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
    Oxford Town
    Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie
    Farewell
    The Times They Are A-changing
    Only a Pawn in Their Game
    Love is Just a Four Letter Word
    Lay Down Your Weary Tune
    Spanish Harlem Incident
    Chimes of Freedom
    I Don’t Believe You
    It Ain’t Me Babe
    Mister Tambourine Man
    She Belongs to Me
    It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
    Like a Rolling Stone
    Desolation Row
    Visions of Johanna
    4th Time Around
    All Along the Watchtower
    I Shall be Released
    Kocking on Heaven’s Door
    Tangled Up in Blue
    If You See Her Say Hello
    Isis
    Mozambique
    …and so many others

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Idiot Wind.

    Especially the little dig at McGuinn with that “Visions of your Chestnut Mare” line…priceless.

    -Glen

  • Antonio Mendez

    Let me add:
    – North Country Blues
    – The Hour When the Ship Comes In
    – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues

    The tandem mentioned by Natalie as her two tops of the tops or very best ones, that is, “Visions of Johanna” & “Tangled Up in Blue”, is also mine’s

  • Ben

    Theres a couple of songs that people havent mentioned yet, and i feel need to be included. From the album Street Legal (often overlooked and critisiced for poor production):
    Senor and Changing of the Guard and Where are you tonight?

    but the top five in my view are:

    Like a Rolling Stone (How does it feel???)

    Hurricane (great return to topical songwriting)

    Tangled up in Blue – You have to love it

    Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands (Most beautiful love song ever written, best song from his best album)

    Blind Willie Mctell – (How can this lay hidden for almost 20 years, masterpeice!)

  • Jokerman

    Can’t quite remember the name of the song…sumthin’ about a comedian dancing to the nightingale’s tune :)
    Also, You Ain’t Going Nowhere always gets me singing along.

  • Aubade

    Oh wow no one has even mentioned mine… Queen Jane Approximately. I’m not sure why, but listening to it just makes me feel so good, everytime. It makes me believe I’m actually in the 60’s right then.

  • Zimbo

    Standing on the waters casting your bread
    While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing.
    Distant ships sailing into the mist,
    You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing.
    Freedom just around the corner for you
    But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?

    Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
    Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
    Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

    So swiftly the sun sets in the sky,
    You rise up and say goodbye to no one.
    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,
    Both of their futures, so full of dread, you don’t show one.
    Shedding off one more layer of skin,
    Keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within.

    Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
    Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
    Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

  • Our Lady of Bob

    Yipes!
    What all of you said.
    Unbelievable. It just goes on and on.
    Dylan is the only one I know of that could have a list like this that goes on and on with so many truly great songs to choose from.
    Mot to mention the decades and the disparate types, or kinds… genre’s I guess.

    I can’t choose.
    Johanna is always there by default.

    Most of the Time from Oh Mercy sometimes is also right up there.

    I always said I wanted Dylan played or sung at my funeral.
    Thanks for your choice. I think it will be mine as well.

  • http://rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Isn’t “Jokerman” about Yassir Arafat?

  • Mitch

    What if there was a songwriter who just wrote…
    Like a Rolling Stone. Mr. Tambourine Man and Blowing in the Wind. Those 3 songs would be more than enough to make him a legend of popular music. Yet those 3 tunes barely scratch the surface of Dylan’s canon. Amazing.
    Actually I find it impossible to pick favorites from such an embarrassment of riches.

  • jawboy

    my friend and i were talking about this the other day. its so hard to just pick one. right when you think you have it you remember how great another one is and you are completly torn between so many favorties

    Some Top ones
    1. Ballad of a Thin Man
    2. Sara
    3. Tombstone Blues
    4. It aint me babe
    5. Only a pawn in there game

  • rodney welch are you joking

    Jokerman is about Jesus, so unless Yassir Arafat is Jesus…

  • http://carriertom.typepad.com/sheep_and_goats/2007/11/at-the-bob-dyla.html tom sheepandgoats

    Nope. Nobody mentioned my favorite, though they sure did a lot of runner-ups.

    All time favorite: What Good am I? (my own subtitle: how to be a decent person)

    Did he really go born-again those few years or did he just want to experiment with that kind of music?

  • adam

    I like the songs on the classic albums that aren’t the show-stopping masterpieces. Like on BoB, there’s Visions and Sad Eyed Lady and Stuck, but my favorites are songs like Fourth Time. It’s like.. he wasn’t expecting you too listen to this one too closely, and that makes it really interesting.

    In that same vein, I’m a big fan of Gates of Eden, It’s all Over Now, Queen Jane Approximately.

  • http://www.bloodonthetracksnovel.com Tom Grasty

    Narrowing it down to one is damn near impossible. So I used them all in my new novel, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS. I thought I’d tell your readers about it.

    It’s a murder-mystery. But not just any rock superstar is knocking on heaven’s door. The murdered rock legend is none other than Bob Dorian, an enigmatic, obtuse, inscrutable, well, you get the picture…

    Suspects? Tons of them. The only problem is they’re all characters in Bob’s songs.

    You can get a copy on Amazon or go “behind the tracks” at my site to learn more about the book.

  • Liam

    Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You

  • Dani

    that’s a really hard question coz Bob Dylan has so many amazing songs!!!
    my favourite songs change all the time but currently it would have to be

    – It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
    – I Shall Be Released
    – It’s all over now baby blue
    – Mr Tambourine Man
    – The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
    – Things have changed
    – Positively 4th Street
    – When the ship comes in

    Im such a huge fan of Bob Dylan there way too many great songs :)

  • http://www.bloodonthetracksnovel.com Tom Grasty

    Fortunately, all of Dylan’s songs offer great inspiration… and characters. In fact, it’s those characters from Bob’s songs who are the suspects in my new murder mystery, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS.

  • paul

    IDIOT WIND

  • http://www.bebo.com/dylanfever Caitlin

    I have heaps. But, for today I am madly inlove with The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol!
    Last week’s fave. was A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall!
    Weel before that was… probably, You’re A Big Girl Now!

    I just love them all. x

  • Paul E.

    Ballad of a Thin Man.

    Period.

    End of list.

    Oh also (47 other songs…..)

  • Christy

    First of all, it is my belief that Dylan is the greatest songwriter in the history of the universe! My all time favorite song by Dylan would have to be I Shall Be Released. Why? The song itself may be about an individual who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned, however, I believe it also refers to one who is in search of God and the possibility of being set free from his circumstances. This song is about hope.

  • stephen

    JUST LIKE A WOMAN LIVE summer 2007 and summer 2008 live mohegan sun and MGM grand and foxwoods, best version of any dylan song ever.

    also Huck’s Tune off of Tell Tale Signs is an excellent song

  • bob dylan fan

    they are all so dam good… i often find myself trying to choose one and ending up listing hundreds!!!ballad of a thin man is rad!

  • Chris L.

    My top 10 include

    -Subterranean Homesick Blues
    -Maggie’s Farm
    -It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
    -Like A Rolling Stone
    -It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
    -Desolation Row
    -Tangled Up In Blue
    -Idiot Wind
    -Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
    -The Hurricane

  • Frank V

    Five favorites:
    Desolation Row
    Visions of Johanna
    Hard Rains a gonna fall
    Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
    Every Grain of Sand

  • http://www.leekspin.com Antonjr

    As many, mine is constantly changing. Right now it’s probably “All I Really Want to Do” – which actually hasn’t been mentioned, but I really like it. The one that’s I would generally would call my all-time favorite though is probably “Stuck Inside of Memphis…”

  • http://www.leekspin.com Antonjr

    Mobile, of course. bonk

  • Freddie from Florence

    Desolation row
    Just like Tom thum’s blues
    It takes a lot to laugh,it takes a train to cry
    Visions of Johanna
    Obviously 5 believers
    My back pages
    Jokerman
    Not dark yet
    Blind Willie McTell
    I want you

  • Hardcore Tomas

    All Along The Watchtower

    You can cover it as much as you like, nothing will beat that song

  • rifat

    mr. tombourine man is the best !

  • Sean

    Not that this was one of his best songs but “Billys Theme” from the soundtrack to Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is one of my favourites.

  • dave

    easy best 10 (not in order)

    -With God on our side
    -desolation row
    -a hard rain’s a-gonna fall
    -love minus zero/no limit
    -hurricane
    -all along the watchtower
    -like a rolling stone
    -don’t think twice, it’s alright
    -jokerman
    -the times they are a-changin’

    honorable mention

    -i want you
    -blowin’ in the wind
    -simple twist of fate
    -not dark yet
    -mr. tambourine man

    -Dave :)

  • lauren

    I’ll add angelina to the list, since I feel it gets left off so much of the time but it’s really such a well-written song and deserves to be mentioned

  • Kevin

    Tangled up in blue,desolation row,shelter from the strorm,like a rolling stone,joker man,hurricane,just like a woman,tombstone blues,subterraen homesick blues,masters of war,highway 61 revisited,freight train blues,maggies farm

  • Dennis

    Idiot wind (acoustic)

  • http://www.ollenordlander.com/wordpress/ BullOlle

    Right now my most listened are:
    Tell me
    Mississippi
    One too many mornings
    Mama, you been on my mind
    To Ramona

    It´s to hard to pin just one.I also like My back pages, Chimes of freedom.
    I once tried to make a twenty best list. Ended up at 53. And that was a year ago and since then at least seven more gems have come up. Angelina, Tell me, Mississippi, Lone Pilgrim (not written by Dylan), I don´t believe you, Death is not the end, Going,Gone,Gone…

  • M

    “Sara” is my favorite Bob Dylan song. He have written so many beautiful songs, but Sara is the song that evokes a special feeling in me I can only get from that songs.