Boots of Spanish Leather
|"Boots of Spanish Leather"|
|Song by Bob Dylan from the album The Times They Are a-Changin'|
|Released||January 13, 1964|
|Recorded||August 7, 1963|
|Genre||American folk music|
|The Times They Are a-Changin' track listing|
Lyrically, "Boots of Spanish Leather" is a "restless, forlorn ballad for the ages and sages—a classic Dylan tale of two lovers, a crossroads, and the open sea." The song is written as a dialogue, with the first six verses alternating between the man and woman; however, the last three verses are all given by the one who has been left, presumably the man. Within these nine verses, the woman goes across the sea. She writes, asking whether the man would like any gift, and he refuses, saying he only wants her back. Towards the end it becomes clear that she is not returning, and she finally writes saying she may never come back. The man comes to realize what has happened and finally gives her a material request: "Spanish boots of Spanish leather." Michael Gray says there is a strong parallel between this line and the traditional folk song "Blackjack Davey," which Dylan arranged and recorded for his 1992 album Good as I Been to You, and in which footwear of Spanish leather also plays a significant role.
"Boots of Spanish Leather" has been covered by many musicians, including:
- Joan Baez: Any Day Now
- Sebastian Cabot: Sebastian Cabot, Actor-Bob Dylan, Poet (1967)
- Dervish: Spirit (2003)
- Dirk Darmstaedter: Dirk Sings Dylan (2010)
- Dubliners: 30 Years A-Greying (1994)
- Nanci Griffith: Other Voices, Other Rooms (1993), Winter Marquee (2002), Putumayo Presents American Folk (2005)
- Nic Jones: Unearthed (2001)
- Richie Havens: Electric Haven (1966)
- Various Artists (performed by Ida): A Tribute to Bob Dylan, Volume 3: The Times They Are A-Changin' (2000)
- Linda Mason: How Many Seas Must a White Dove Sail (1964)
- Dan McCafferty: Dan McCafferty (1975)
- Ronnie Drew and Eleanor Shanley on their live album A Couple More Years (2000)
- Michael Moore: Jewels and Binoculars (2000)
- Seldom Scene: Scene It All (2000)
- Martin Simpson: Bootleg USA- Martin uses his fluid fingerstyle, frailing and open tuning
- Various Artists (performed by Martin Simpson): A Nod to Bob (2001)
- T. Duggins: T. Duggens:Undone (2006)
- Rebecca Barnard: "Everlasting" (2010)
- Patti Smith: "Bowery Ballroom" (12/30/2010)
- The Airborne Toxic Event: Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International (1/24/2012)
- Wesley Schultz: from The Lumineers: "Look Sessions" (2013)
- Amos Lee: Played in the opening scene on Episode 10 of the final season of the FX series Sons Of Anarchy.
- "The Times They Are A--Changin| The Official Bob Dylan Site". Sony Music. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Trager, Oliver (2004). Keys to the rain: the definitive Bob Dylan encyclopedia. New York: Billboard Books. p. 80. ISBN 0823079740.
- Gray, Michael (2002). Song & dance man III : the art of Bob Dylan. London: Continuum. p. 857. ISBN 0826463827.
- The Norton anthology of poetry (5. ed.). New York: Norton. 2005. ISBN 0393979202.
- "Search results for: "Boots of Spanish Leather" The Official Bob Dylan Site". Sony Music Corporation. Retrieved 6 June 2013.