Cold Irons Bound
|"Cold Irons Bound"|
|Song by Bob Dylan from the album Time Out of Mind|
|Released||September 30, 1997|
|Time Out of Mind track listing|
"Cold Irons Bound" is a Grammy Award-winning song written by Bob Dylan, recorded in January 1997 and released on September 30, 1997 on his critically acclaimed album Time Out of Mind. An alternate version of the song, recorded in July 2002 for a concert sequence in the film Masked and Anonymous, was released on the film's soundtrack album in July 2003.
Since its composition, "Cold Irons Bound" has been a regular in Dylan's live setlists. A concert version, recorded in Los Angeles on December 16, 1997, was included on the compilation Live 1961-2000: Thirty-Nine Years of Great Concert Performances, released in Japan in 2001.
Oliver Trager describes "Cold Irons Bound" as "biting" with "ricocheting guitar licks, rockabilly drums, distorted organ, and [a] voice floating in a blimp of its own echo," in which "one can still hear, to paraphrase "Visions of Johanna," the ghost of electricity howling from the bones of Dylan's face..."  Michael Gray also describes this song in detail:
"There's an interesting tension, too, in "Cold Irons Bound," perhaps more accurately an interesting inappropriateness between, on one side, the grinding electronic blizzard of the music and the cold, aircraft-hangar echo of the voice lamenting its sojourn across a lethal planet - fields turned brown, sky lowering with clouds of blood, winds that can tear you to shreds, mists like quicksand - and on the other side the recurrently stated pursuit of tenderness, in phrases that seem imported from another consciousness...It's decidedly odd to hear, pitched against the scraping Lanois winds half tearing us to shreds, sentiments as obdurately "romantic" as
- I found my own, found my one in you
- Lookin' at you and I'm on my bended knee
- I tried to love and protect you
- and to hear such a defensively bleak, exhausted old voice articulate the thought that
- I'm gonna remember forever the joy we've shared. "
"Cold Irons Bound" has been covered by:
- Druha Trava & Peter Rowan: New Freedom Bell (1999)
- Jing Chi: Jing Chi Live (2003)
- Tom Verlaine & The Million Dollar Bashers: I'm Not There (2007)
- Trager, Oliver. Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, page 110. Billboard Books, 2004
- Gray, Michael. Song & Dance Man III: The Art of Bob Dylan, page 750. Continuum, 2000