Ain't Talkin'

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"Ain't Talkin'"
Song by Bob Dylan
from the album Modern Times
ReleasedAugust 29, 2006 (2006-08-29)
RecordedFebruary 2006
GenreFolk rock, Americana
Songwriter(s)Bob Dylan
Producer(s)Bob Dylan (as Jack Frost)
Audio sample

"Ain't Talkin'" is a song written by Bob Dylan, appearing as the closing track on his album Modern Times, recorded in February 2006. It is the longest track of the album (8:48). The song derives its chorus words from the more up-tempo "Highway of Regret" by Don Anthony and Ralph Stanley. The lyrics of the first verse seem to be derived from the first verse of "As I Roved Out", a traditional Irish song, and with its line "through this weary world of woe" a nod to the traditional "Wayfaring Stranger."[1] Allmusic wrote about the song, "The great irony is in the final track, "Ain't Talkin'," where a lonesome fiddle, piano, and hand percussion spill out a gypsy ballad that states a yearning, that amounts to an unsatisfied spiritual hunger. The pilgrim wanders, walks, and aspires to do good unto others, though he falters often—he sometimes even wants to commit homicide. It's all part of the "trawl" of living in the world today."[2]

The Guardian writes,"The superlative final sally, 'Ain't Talkin', does what all last tracks should do: make you want to hear the whole thing again. It's a lengthy, mysterious blues-noir; virtually magic-realist in places."[3]

An alternate version of the song, from the same recording sessions, appeared on the 2008 Dylan compilation The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 – Tell Tale Signs: Rare and Unreleased 1989–2006.

Cultural references[edit]

The line "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" refers to the song of that name: a minstrel song, which has become a folk song.


  1. ^ Clinton Heylin (2010). Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2 1974-2008. Little, Brown Book Group.
  2. ^ "Allmusic review of Modern Times". Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  3. ^ Empire, Kitty (2006-08-27). "The Guardian review of Modern Times". London. Retrieved 2010-12-17.

External links[edit]