Outlaw Blues

Album: Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Despite the "blues" title, this song is upbeat and has some amusing lyrics, such as:

    I'm carryin' for good luck my black tooth
    Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'
    I just might tell you the truth


    The song is a parody of traditional American outlaw songs.
  • Well, I might look like Robert Ford
    But I feel just like a Jesse James


    Robert Newton Ford was the man who killed the famed American outlaw in April 1882. Ford was a member of James' gang, but killed their leader to gain immunity from his own crimes and to collect the reward money.

    So, in this song Dylan is saying that though he may look like a killer, he's actually the one being killed.
  • Dylan overdubbed his harmonica parts over his voice, giving him the freedom to improvise on the instrument.
  • In 1977, Peter Fonda starred in a Richard T. Heffron film titled Outlaw Blues. In the film, Fonda plays a country singer named Bobby.
  • Dylan went through several titles for the song before settling on "Outlaw Blues." At times he called it "California," "Key to the Highway," "Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence," and "Tune X."
  • Dylan has only played the song live one time, on September 20, 2007, at the Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, when he performed it with special guest Jack White of the White Stripes.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Thomas DolbySongwriter Interviews

He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.

Mike Love of The Beach BoysSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist of The Beach Boys talks about coming up with the words for "Good Vibrations," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Kokomo" and other classic songs.

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)Songwriter Interviews

Richie talks about producing the first two Kiss albums, recording "Brother Louie," and the newfound appreciation of his rock band, Dust.

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.