Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You

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"Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You"
Single by Bob Dylan
from the album Nashville Skyline
B-side "Country Pie"
Released October 1969
Format 7" single
Recorded February 17, 1969, Columbia Studio A, Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Country rock
Length 3:23
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bob Dylan
Producer(s) Bob Johnston
Bob Dylan singles chronology
"Lay Lady Lay"
(1969)
"Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You"
(1969)
"Wigwam"
(1970)
Nashville Skyline track listing

"Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" is a song written by Bob Dylan from his 1969 album Nashville Skyline. It was the closing song of the album. The song was the third single released from the album, after "I Threw It All Away" and "Lay Lady Lay", reaching #50 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and reaching the top 20 in other countries.[1][2] Artists who have covered the song include Eddie Adcock, Jeff Beck, Johnny Cash, My Morning Jacket, Cher, Ben E. King, Albert Lee, Limbeck, Ricky Nelson, Orange Bicycle, Ann Peebles, Esther Phillips, Sugarland, The Black Crowes and Zora Young.[3]

Dylan arrived at the Nashville Skyline recording sessions having written just four songs, including "I Threw It All Away" and "Lay Lady Lay". Having recorded these and three other new songs on February 13 and 14, 1969, he needed a few more songs to fill out the album. "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" was written over two days at the Ramada Inn where Dylan was staying, and recorded over 11 takes on February 17.[4] The song is reminiscent of the last two songs from Dylan's previous album John Wesley Harding, "Down Along the Cove" and "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight", particularly the latter.[4][5][6]

The lyrics of "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" mark a change from many of Dylan's earlier love songs, which expressed a restlessness in search of perfect love.[7] In contrast, "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" expresses Dylan's devotion to his lover and willingness to stay with her.[2][6][7][8] Even though the line from the title, which is repeated at the end of each verse, only explicitly expresses a willingness to stay "tonight", the implication of the song is that the singer is willing to stay permanently and become a family man.[2][6] Train imagery runs throughout the song, but unlike earlier songs that used similar imagery, in this song even though the singer "can hear that whistle blowin'" he wants to "throw [his] ticket out the window" and let "a poor boy on the street" have his seat so that he can stay with his lover.[6][7][8][9] The accompaniment includes piano, pedal steel guitar and bass guitar.[2][9]

Dylan did not play "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" live in concert until the Rolling Thunder Revue tours in 1975 and 1976, and it was not played live again until February 1990 on the Neverending Tour.[4][8] The first live performance was at Waltham, Massachusetts on November 22, 1975.[4] The Rolling Thunder Revue version became an anthemic rocker, rather than the sweet country song from the original album.[8] A live version from the first Rolling Thunder Revue tour was included on The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue.[2]

"Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" has appeared on Dylan compilation albums, including Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II and Playlist: The Very Best of Bob Dylan '60s.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nashville Skyline Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  3. ^ "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You covers". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-13. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d Heylin, C. (2009). Revolution in the Air. Chicago Review Press. pp. 396–397. ISBN 978-1-55652-843-9. 
  5. ^ Shelton, R. (1997). No Direction Home. Da Capo Press. p. 404. ISBN 0-306-80782-3. 
  6. ^ a b c d John Hinchey (2002). Like a Complete Unknown. Stealing Home Press. pp. 254–257. ISBN 0-9723592-0-6. 
  7. ^ a b c Gray, M. (2000). Song and Dance Man III. Continuum. pp. 31, 43. ISBN 0-8264-6382-7. 
  8. ^ a b c d Trager, O. (2004). Keys to the Rain. Billboard Books. pp. 632–633. ISBN 0-8230-7974-0. 
  9. ^ a b >Gill, A. (1998). Don't Think Twice, It's All Right. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 142. ISBN 1-56025-185-9.