Bob Dylan Countdown #167: “Meet Me In The Morning”

I’m going to admit it to the world right now. Here I am, trying to be some big-shot Dylan expert, but for the longest time, I thought the first lines to this song were, “Meet me in the morning, 56-cent barbershop.” That’s the thing about Bob’s songs: He’s so unpredictable that even things that you mishear seem to fit perfectly.

I know now that Dylan was singing about “56th and Wabasha,” which might as well be oblivion considering the woeful state of the protagonist in this song. It’s a pretty straight-up blues, featuring some memorable steel guitar work from Buddy Cage, but Dylan’s scorching vocal really brings it to life.

It’s interesting that this was one of the songs on Blood On The Tracks to survive the New York sessions for that album. The common perception of that tumultuous LP is that the New York tracks came out a bit too mellow, causing Dylan to re-record many of them in Minnesota to balance things out with a bit more fire and vigor.

Yet “Meet Me In The Morning” has all of those impulsive emotions right at the surface. The singer’s determination to win the love of the woman in the song, unbowed by snow, hail, or barbed wire, is matched only by the frustration he feels at her reticence. It’s all there in the vocal that highlights this Bob Dylan song where the words don’t mean as much as how he sings them.

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