Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|"Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word"|
|Single by Joan Baez|
|from the album Any Day Now|
|B-side||"Love Minus Zero/No Limit"|
|Format||45 RPM single|
|Recorded||September 1968, Columbia Studios, Nashville|
|Joan Baez singles chronology|
"Love is Just a Four-Letter Word" is a song written by Bob Dylan, and long associated with Joan Baez, who has recorded it numerous times, and performed it throughout her career. Written by Dylan somewhere around 1965, Baez immediately took to the song, and began performing it, even before it was finished. (In the film Dont Look Back, a documentary of Dylan's 1965 tour of the UK, Baez is shown in one scene singing a fragment of the then apparently still unfinished song in a hotel room late at night. She then tells Dylan, "If you finish it, I'll sing it on a record.") Baez first included the song on Any Day Now, her 1968 album of Dylan covers; she has since recorded it three additional times. Her 1968 recording was also released as a single.
Dylan himself appears to have never recorded the song.
In the 2005 PBS American Masters documentary on Dylan, No Direction Home, Baez told a story of how she was with Dylan, when he first heard her recording of "Love is Just a Four-Letter Word" on the radio. He commented on it, "Hey, that's a great song!", apparently having forgotten that it was he who'd written it.
The title line "Love is just a four-letter word" derives from a line in the Tennessee Williams play Camino Real.