Zimmerman Blues

Album: Not Till Tomorrow (1972)
  • Written about the same time as Bowie's "Song For Bob Dylan", this Ralph McTell composition comes from an entirely different direction.
    The man himself wrote: "I used [Dylan's] real name to try to strip away the identity he had assumed so as to reveal his true self not what he had become and I hoped that it would be a reminder to me as well that the changes you go through are not always the best ones."
    Leaving that aside, this is a song about McTell himself as much as about Dylan, and although it was written early on in his career, there were obviously some regrets along the way as per the last verse where he says if he were to do it all again he would choose 'Anything but the "Zimmerman Blues"'.
    It is also possible that McTell coined the phrase, certainly he appears to have been the first to use it in any meaningful context; shortly, the song's title was shortly hijacked for a Dylan fanzine. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


Be the first to comment...

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk: Rock vs. TelevangelistsSong Writing

When televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart took on rockers like Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, the rockers retaliated. Bono could even be seen mocking the preachers.