Black Crow Blues

Album: Another Side Of Bob Dylan (1964)

Songfacts®:

  • As with "All I Really Want To Do," the opening track of Another Side of Bob Dylan, this second track on the album is widely assumed to be about Dylan's breakup with Suze Rotolo (with Rotolo herself being among those assuming).

    The lyrics are pretty straightforward throughout the song, detailing Dylan's state as he wanders around feeling beaten up from losing his woman. The final verse, though, which also happens to be the one that gives the song its title, is sort of surreal.

    Black crows in the meadow
    Across a broad highway
    Black crows in the meadow
    Across a broad highway
    Though it's funny, honey
    I just don't feel much like a
    Scarecrow today

    The lyrics make sense in a sort of instinctual way, but they break down if you think very much about them. They don't really seem to make sense. The vaguely surreal, paradoxical nature of the words is not insignificant, as Another Side as a whole is considered a turning point in Dylan's songwriting, when he started incorporating visionary, mystical elements similar to the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud (who he began talking about frequently around this point in his career).
  • "Black Crow Blues" is significant because it's the first song Dylan ever recorded with him playing piano. There is no guitar in it, only piano, harmonica, and his vocals.
  • Dylan has never performed this song live.
  • The song was recorded June 9 and 10, 1964, in Columbia Recording Studios' Studio A.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)Songwriter Interviews

The Brazilian rocker sees pictures in his riffs. When he came up with one of his gnarliest songs, there was a riot going on.

Krishna DasSongwriter Interviews

The top chant artist in the Western world, Krishna Das talks about how these Hindu mantras compare to Christian worship songs.

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and glam metal go together from the Stryper frontman.

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The RemastersSong Writing

Brian has unearthed outtakes by Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello and hundreds of other artists for reissues. Here's how he does it.

P.F. SloanSongwriter Interviews

P.F. was a teenager writing hits and playing on tracks for Jan & Dean when he wrote a #1 hit that got him blackballed.