4th Time Around

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"4th Time Around"
Song by Bob Dylan from the album Blonde on Blonde
Released May 16, 1966
Recorded February 14, 1966
Genre Folk rock
Length 4:35
Label Columbia
Writer Bob Dylan
Blonde on Blonde track listing

"4th Time Around" is a song by Bob Dylan on his 1966 album, Blonde on Blonde.


With lyrics that contrast the mundane with the absurd, "4th Time Around" is suggestive of a young romance. The song revolves around the actions and brief spoken phrases of a man and a woman, who are presumably in the midst of a lover's quarrel. It opens with what could be interpreted as the climax of an argument "When she said/ Don't waste your words, they're just lies/ I cried she was deaf." The narrator refers to the woman as "she" throughout the song, but in the last stanza begins to address someone directly, using the pronoun "you", i.e. "you took me in,/you loved me then". Musically speaking, the simple folk melody of the song contrasts with the more blues-rock oriented sound of most of Blonde on Blonde.

Comparisons to "Norwegian Wood"[edit]

"4th Time Around" was commonly speculated to be a response to The Beatles' song "Norwegian Wood" - written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney for the 1965 album Rubber Soul - as the two tracks share a reasonably similar melody, lyrical premise, and 3/4 time signature. "Norwegian Wood" was one of the first Beatles tracks where the lyrics are more important than the melody and showed an obvious Dylan-influence. "4th Time Around" has been seen as either a playful homage, or a satirical warning to Lennon about co-opting Dylan's well-known songwriting devices. Lennon expressed a range of opinions on this topic in interviews between 1970 and 1980. He initially felt it to be a somewhat pointed parody of "Norwegian Wood", but later he considered Dylan's effort to be more a playful homage. Still, the last line of "4th Time Around" ("I never asked for your crutch / Now don't ask for mine.") played into Lennon's apparent paranoia about Dylan in 1966-67, when he interpreted this line as a warning not to use Dylan's songs as a "crutch" for Lennon's songwriting.[1]


A performance of "4th Time Around" from The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert appeared on the soundtrack for the film Vanilla Sky.



  1. ^ Trager, Oliver (2004). Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. Billboard Books. p. 195. ISBN 0-8230-7974-0. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 

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