Last weekend I walked into my local Berkeley coffee shop and Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row was playing on the stereo. I turned to my friend and asked if he had any way of identifying what verse we were at – but neither of us could place how far into the song we were, or how likely it was the song would still be playing when we left. It was, in fact, still playing when we left. Later that night, I saw Wilco at The Greek Theatre open with One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend) – yet another song with numerous (albeit short) verses, and thus was born this week’s B List. Interestingly, both of those songs, and many listed below, share the characteristic of also not having a chorus.
Hurricane – Bob Dylan
There was a time in high school where I could recite all eleven verses from Dylan’s protest song for boxer and accused murdered Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. If I had time to dig through enough songs, we could probably make a B List of only Bob Dylan songs that have eight or more verses. In addition to the mention of Desolation Row in the intro, Tangled Up In Blue, Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts, the list goes on and on.
We don’t have much in the way of traditions around my house come Thanksgiving time, but there is one Hidden Track tradition that we do stick to every year around this time. For as long as I can remember New York’s classic rock station – which has rotated considerably over the years – has always played Arlo Guthrie’s satirically brilliant track Alice’s Restaurant Massacre at noon on Thanksgiving.
When I was young, listening to this song was more of a goof since it was a tune my dad really dug, but as I actually started to pay attention to the lyrics of the smartly written song, I came to really appreciate Alice’s Restaurant for its social commentary on the Vietnam era, as well as marvel at the fact that the version on the album was actually played live in concert. So when you have some time today, or over the course of the long weekend, I highly recommend that you sit back and enjoy Guthrie’s 18-plus minute anti-establishment ode,which is actually based on a true story. Let’s check out this pro-shot version from the 2005 edition of Farm Aid that took place at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Illinois…
We here at HT wanted to wish everyone a very happy, safe and enjoyable holiday week, and if you have any Thanksgiving traditions that you’d like to share please leave them in the comments below.