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One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) by Bob Dylan

Album: DesireReleased: 1976
  • This track tells the tale of a gypsy girl, and of the man who must leave her to enter the "valley below." Some critics see the song as a metaphor for Dylan's crumbling relationship with his then wife, Sara Lowndes.
  • Dylan wrote the song during the summer of 1975 at a corner table in the Greenwich Village Other End nightclub.
  • The song sees Dylan dueting with Emmylou Harris, who also sung backing vocals on several other Desire tracks. The Country singer-songwriter was just beginning to break through into the big time when she collaborated with the folk legend. In fact after she's completed her sessions, Harris went back to working on her own album Elite Hotel, for which she subsequently won a Grammy. In a 2010 interview with Gibson.com, she recalled that Dylan didn't actually know who she was. Said Harris: "There was a fellow at Columbia that was a fan, who was like an executive producer, and I think Dylan told him 'I need a girl singer.' Don DeVito was his name and I got a call that Dylan wants you to sing, but that wasn't true because he just wanted a girl singer. I mean we basically shook hands and started recording. I didn't know the songs, the lyrics were in front of me, and the band would start playing and he would kind of poke me when he wanted me to jump in. Somehow I watched his mouth with one eye and the lyrics with the other. You couldn't fix anything. What happened in a moment was on the record."
  • Amongst the many other artists who have covered the song are, The White Stripes on their 1999 self-titled debut album, Robert Plant on his 2002 set Dreamland and Roger McGuinn and Calexico for the 2007 Dylan biopic movie film, I'm Not There.
  • Rob Stoner's bass contribution at the beginning of the song was because violinist Scarlet Rivera wasn't ready. Stoner recalled to Mojo magazine October 2012: "The beginning of 'One More Cup of Coffee' - that wasn't arranged for me to do a bass solo. Scarlet wasn't ready. Bob starts strumming his guitar - nothing's happening. Somebody better play something, so I start playin' a bass solo. Basically the run-throughs became the first takes."
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