Friday, May 25, 2012

Rockin' Friday: Masterpiece

This week’s Rockin’ Friday tune of the week is a tribute to arguably the greatest lyricist of all time. Yesterday was Bob Dylan’s 71st birthday, so I picked When I Paint My Masterpiece as this week’s song.

Dylan’s masterpiece was written in, coincidentally, 1971 and received its’ initial release with accurate premonition on Dylan’s “Greatest Hits Volume II” album.  The song is Dylan’s retelling of his travel through Europe and the unusual things he experienced on a quest for creative nirvana.  That being said, he also shares a bit of homesickness as well:  

Sailin’ round the world in a dirty gondola

Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!

Masterpiece has a catchy chorus that the Little Dude likes singing along to. But it also has a strong message about seeking our place in the world.  That chorus can apply to many things in life, and is something I often think about, as it can apply to many situations:
Someday, everything is gonna be diff’rent

When I paint my masterpiece.

Masterpiece has also been recorded to great acclaim by The Band, Dylan’s backup crew, and was part of the regular repertoire of the Grateful Dead for many years as well.  Chris Whitley recorded a bluesy version for his final album. 

Grateful Dead 7/26/87

What's your favorite Dylan song?


  1. Dylan has too many great songs to pick just one! The first to pop into my head was "I Shall Be Released," but I could easily mention a hundred others.

    1. Even a hundred others is still low. It took me a while to pick this gem because I kept changing my mind.
      Of course it was Bob who said: "most likely you'll go your way and I'll go mine".

  2. I would have to say All Along the Watchtower and Knockin' on Heavens Door or maybe Desolation Row... they are all good - hard to choose! From

    1. Desolation Row is one of my favorites, despite its 10+ minute length.