"I Believe in You" features some of the most remarkably passionate singing of Bob Dylan's career, but that fact is largely overlooked because the song also features some of his most overtly Christian lyrics.
The song is about a person pushing through all obstacles to maintain their faith in Jesus Christ. Speaking about his Christian conversion, Dylan told Robert Hillburn of the Los Angeles Times, "I did begin telling a few people after a couple of months and a lot of them got angry at me."
Dylan takes that experience and amplifies it in this song, summoning the sort of emotion you could imagine from a 4th-century martyr during the Great Persecution. It's truly moving stuff, and you don't need to be a Christian to feel it.
Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits played guitar on this one.
Dylan debuted this song when he was the musical guest on the October 20, 1979 episode of Saturday Night Live, the only time he appeared on the show. The first time he played it during a full concert was on November 1, 1979, in San Francisco. Since then, he's played it live more than 250 times.
The song was recorded on May 3, 1979, at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama.