I recently heard Bob's "4th Time Around" again, and remembered that it was a kind, satirical(but more honest) echo of John Lennon's "Norwegian Wood" (still singing in code about almost getting laid, while married to someone else). Bob's is so much closer to the stoned relationships of the 60s (getting laid, and then trying to get away - after 'liberating' any drugs lying around, and smuggling them over to someone 'kinder'). You have to hear the arrangements to hear why I think the songs are related. Here are the words, anyway (what the hell, everyone knows I am an old fogey by now). They were all at it then (Let it Be - Beatles /Let it Bleed - Stones)
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me.
She showed me her room, isn't it good, norwegian wood?
She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere.
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair.
I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine.
We talked until two, and then she said, "It's time for bed".
She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath.
And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown.
So I lit a fire, isn't it good, norwegian wood.
Recorded: October 12, 21, 1965, Abbey Road Studios, London
- Rubber Soul
- The Beatles/1962-1966 (The Red Album)
© 1965 Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.
complete sample here
4th Time Around Bob Dylan
When she said,
"Don't waste your words, they're just lies,"
I cried she was deaf.
As she worked on my face until breaking my eyes,
Then said, "What else you got left?"
It was then that I got up to leave
But she said, "Don't forget,
Everybody must give something back
For something they get."
I stood there and hummed,
I tapped on her drum and asked her how come.
And she buttoned her boot,
And straightened her suit,
Then she said, "Don't get cute."
So I forced my hands in my pockets
And felt with my thumbs,
And gallantly handed her
My very last piece of gum.
She threw me outside,
I stood in the dirt where ev'ryone walked.
And after finding that I'd
Forgotten my shirt,
I went back and knocked.
I waited in the hallway, she went to get it,
And I tried to make sense
Out of that picture of you in your wheelchair
That leaned up against . . .
Her Jamaican rum
And when she did come, I asked her for some.
She said, "No, dear."
I said, "Your words are not clear,
You'd better spit out your gum."
She screamed till her face got so red
Then she fell on the floor,
And I covered her up and then
Thought I'd go look through her drawer.
And, when I was through
I filled up my shoe
And brought it to you.
And you, you took me in,
You loved me then
You never wasted time.
And I, I never took much,
I never asked for your crutch.
Now don't ask for mine.
Copyright © 1966; renewed 1994 Dwarf Music
Small sample here