BOB DYLAN REWRITING HIMSELF (2019): Sometimes he didn't have such a tight connection

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BOB DYLAN REWRITING HIMSELF (2019): Sometimes he didn't have such a tight connection

Right from the very start of his career Bobn Dylan was rewriting songs. First those by others -- or folk and blues songs whose origins were remote -- which he turned into his own.

And then increasingly changing lyrics in his own songs in performance or in the studio.

Elsewhere has shone the spotlight on New Danville Girl which became Brownsville Girl on the '86 album Knocked Out Loaded.

But perhaps of even greater interest from this somewhat fallow period was his two very different versions of the same song, one seemingly bitter and the other more loving. 

Here is the Bob Dylan's rather tetchy Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love) from the '83 album Empire Burlesque . . . and we'll follow it with a more caring and sensitive treatment under another title.

Tight Connection to My Heart
 

Well, I had to move fast
And I couldn't with you around my neck.
I said I'd send for you and I did
What did you expect?
My hands are sweating
And we haven't even started yet.
I'll go along with the charade
Until I can think my way out.
I know it was all a big joke
Whatever it was about.
Someday maybe
I'll remember to forget.
I'm gonna get my coat,
I feel the breath of a storm.
There's something I've got to do tonight,
You go inside and stay warm.
Has anybody seen my love,
Has anybody seen my love,
Has anybody seen my love.
I don't know,
Has anybody seen my love?
You want to talk to me,
Go ahead and talk.
Whatever you got to say to me
Won't come as any shock.
I must be guilty of something,
You just whisper it into my ear.
Madame Butterfly
She lulled me to sleep,
In a town without pity
Where the water runs deep.
She said, "Be easy, baby,
There ain't nothin' worth stealin' in here."
You're the one I've been looking for,
You're the one that's got the key.
But I can't figure out whether I'm too good for you
Or you're too good for me.
Has anybody seen my love,
Has anybody seen my love,
Has anybody seen my love.
I don't know,
Has anybody seen my love?
Well, they're not showing any lights tonight
And there's no moon.
There's just a hot-blooded singer
Singing "Memphis in June,"
While they're beatin' the devil out of a guy
Who's wearing a powder-blue wig.
Later he'll be shot
For resisting arrest,
I can still hear his voice crying
In the wilderness.
What looks large from a distance,
Close up ain't never that big.
Never could learn to drink that blood
And call it wine,
Never could learn to hold you, love,

And call you mine.

and here is how it started life, the version he didn't release until '91. This is Someone's Got a Hold of My Heart.

Someone's Got a Hold of My Heart
 

They say, “Eat, drink and be merry
Take the bull by the horns”
I keep seeing visions of you, a lily among thorns
Everything looks a little far away to me
Gettin’ harder and harder to recognize the trap
Too much information about nothin’
Too much educated rap
It’s just like you told me, just like you said it would be
The moon rising like wildfire
I feel the breath of a storm
Something I got to do tonight
You go inside and stay warm
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
You—
Yeah, you got a hold of my heart
Just got back from a city of flaming red skies
Everybody thinks with their stomach
There’s plenty of spies
Every street is crooked, they just wind around till they disappear
Madame Butterfly, she lulled me to sleep
Like an ancient river
So wide and deep
She said, “Be easy, baby, ain’t nothin’ worth stealin’ here”
You’re the one I’ve been waitin’ for
You’re the one I desire
But you must first realize
I’m not another man for hire
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
You, you, you, you
Yeah, you got a hold of my heart
Hear that hot-blooded singer
On the bandstand croon
September song, Memphis in June
While they’re beating the devil out of a guy who’s wearing a powder blue wig
I been to Babylon
I gotta confess
I could still hear the voice crying in the wilderness
What looks large from a distance, close up is never that big
Never could learn to drink that blood and call it wine
Never could learn to look at your face and call it mine
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
You—

Yeah, you got a hold of my heart

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