Scarlet Town

Songfacts®:

  • This tale of doom and destiny is set in "Scarlet Town," a type of place where according to Dylan you, "put your heart on a platter, and see who'll bite." Scarlet Town is also the setting for the traditional folk song about doomed love, "Barbara Allen" that a young Dylan first performed in the coffee shops of Greenwich Village. Both songs feature the lines, "in Scarlet town where I was born" and "sweet William on his death bed lay."
  • The song played over the end credits of the first two episodes of the Cinemax TV show Strike Back: Vengeance, both of which aired August 17, 2012.
  • Dylan's steel guitarist Donnie Herron plays the banjo that you can hear being plucked throughout this tune.

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