I Threw It All Away

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"I Threw It All Away"
I Threw It All Away single cover.jpg
Single by Bob Dylan
from the album Nashville Skyline
B-side"Drifter's Escape"
ReleasedApril 9, 1969 (1969-04-09)
RecordedFebruary 13, 1969
GenreCountry, country rock
Songwriter(s)Bob Dylan
Producer(s)Bob Johnston
Bob Dylan singles chronology
"All Along the Watchtower"
"I Threw It All Away"
"Lay Lady Lay"

"I Threw It All Away" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The track appeared on Dylan's album Nashville Skyline in 1969, and was released as its first single later that year, where it reached number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 30 on the UK Singles Chart. It is considered to be one of the best and most popular songs on the album.[1]

Music and lyrics[edit]

"I Threw It All Away" was one of the first songs written for Nashville Skyline and one of only two new songs that were definitely written prior to the recording sessions ("Lay Lady Lay" being the other).[2] Dylan played the song for George Harrison and his wife Pattie in November 1968, and Harrison was apparently impressed enough with the song to learn it himself.[2][3] It was the second song recorded for Nashville Skyline, after "To Be Alone with You", on February 13, 1969.[2][3]

Dylan is singing about a love that he has lost by being cruel and angry. There has been some speculation on whom Dylan is referring to in the song. Many have speculated that it could be about a number of women including Suze Rotolo, Joan Baez, and Edie Sedgwick.

Unlike many songs Dylan wrote about failed relationships, such as "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right", "It Ain't Me, Babe" and "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)", Dylan takes responsibility for the failure in this song.[4] The song has also been interpreted as a portrait of Dylan's muse.[3]


Live performances[edit]

Dylan performed "I Threw It All Away" live for the first time on The Johnny Cash Show, broadcast on June 7, 1969.[3][4] It was the second song in Dylan's set with The Band at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31, 1969[3] and is included on Isle of Wight Live, part of the 4-CD deluxe edition of The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969–1971), released in 2013. (Another song from Nashville Skyline, "Lay Lady Lay", was also in Dylan's Isle of Wight set.)

Dylan performed "I Threw It All Away" in the spring of 1976 during the Rolling Thunder Revue. The May 16, 1976 performance would later be included on the live album Hard Rain. The Rolling Thunder rendition of the song was a raging rock song with strident lyrics, in contrast to the original version.[3][4]

Dylan also played the song on his 1978 tour, but did not play it again live until 1998 during his Never Ending Tour.[4] By 2002, still on the Never Ending Tour, Dylan was playing an acoustic version of the song.[4]

Critical acclaim[edit]

In a 2005 poll reported in Mojo, "I Threw It All Away" was listed as the #55 all time Bob Dylan song.[5] In 2002, Uncut listed "I Threw It All Away" as the #34 all time Bob Dylan song.[6]

Other recordings[edit]


  1. ^ "Nashville Skyline review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  2. ^ a b c Heylin, C. (1995). Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 74–76. ISBN 0-312-15067-9.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Heylin, C. (2009). Revolution in the Air. Chicago Review Press. pp. 388–389. ISBN 978-1-55652-843-9.
  4. ^ a b c d e Trager, O. (2004). Keys to the Rain. Billboard Books. pp. 316–317. ISBN 0-8230-7974-0.
  5. ^ "100 Greatest Dylan Songs". Mojo. November 2005. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  6. ^ "Uncut – Top 40 Dylan Tracks". Uncut. June 2002. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  7. ^ a b "I Threw It All Away covers". allmusic. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-01.

External links[edit]