It Ain't Me Babe

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"It Ain't Me Babe"
Song by Bob Dylan
from the album Another Side of Bob Dylan
Released August 8, 1964 (1964-08-08)
Recorded June 9, 1964
Studio CBS 30th Street Studio, New York City
Genre Folk
Length 3:33
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Bob Dylan
Producer(s) Tom Wilson
Another Side of Bob Dylan track listing

"It Ain't Me Babe" is a song by Bob Dylan that originally appeared on his fourth album Another Side of Bob Dylan, which was released in 1964 by Columbia Records. According to music critic Oliver Trager, this song, along with others on the album, marked a departure for Dylan as he began to explore the possibilities of language and deeper levels of the human experience.[1] Within a year of its release, the song was picked up as a single by folk rock act the Turtles[2] and country artist Johnny Cash (who sang it as a duet with his future wife, June Carter).[3]

Influences[edit]

Dylan's biographers generally agree that the song owes its inspiration to his former girlfriend Suze Rotolo. He reportedly began writing the song during his visit to Italy in 1963 while searching for Rotolo, who was studying there.[1][4]

Clinton Heylin reports that a Times reporter at a May 1964 Royal Festival Hall concert where Dylan first played "It Ain't Me" took the chorus "no, no, no" as a parody of the Beatles' "yeah, yeah, yeah" in "She Loves You".[5]

Nat Hentoff's late October 1964 New Yorker article on Dylan includes an account of Hentoff's presence on the evening in June 1964 in the CBS recording studio when Dylan recorded this and a dozen or so other songs. After some description of the recording studio and booth exchanges between Dylan, his friends, and the session's producers, Hentoff describes the moment. "Dylan," Hentoff writes, "went on to record a song about a man leaving a girl because he was not prepared to be the kind of invincible hero and all-encompassing provider she wanted." "'It ain't me you're looking for babe,' he [Dylan] sang, with finality," Hentoff writes in his piece.

The melody in both phrases uses a scale descending through a minor third. (Dylan played at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday, May 17, 1964. The Times reviewed the performance in the following day's edition under the heading of "A Minnesota Minstrel." However, the review makes no mention of "It Ain't Me, Babe.")

Renditions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Trager, Oliver (2004). Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. Billboard Books. pp. 14–15, 314–315. ISBN 0-8230-7974-0. 
  2. ^ Sounes, Howard (2001). Down The Highway: The Life Of Bob Dylan. Grove Press. pp. 157, 177. ISBN 0-8021-1686-8. 
  3. ^ Margotin, Philippe; Guesdon, Jean-Michel (2015). Bob Dylan All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. Black Dog & Leventhal. ISBN 978-0-316-35353-3. 
  4. ^ a b Gill, Andy (2011). Bob Dylan: The Stories Behind the Songs 1962–1969. Carlton Books. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-84732-759-8. 
  5. ^ Heylin, Clinton (2001). Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited. HarperCollins. p. 154. ISBN 0-06-052569-X. 
  6. ^ Springer, Mike (2012-06-14). "Inside the 1969 Bob Dylan-Johnny Cash Sessions". Open Culture. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  7. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 19 - Blowin' in the Wind: Pop discovers folk music. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries. 
  8. ^ Callahan, Mike; Edwards, David; Eyries, Patrice; Preuss, Peter (23 April 2003). "MGM Album Discography, Part 9". Both Sides Now Publications. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Callahan, Mike; Edwards, David; Eyries, Patrice (25 July 2004). "Rhino Album Discography, Part 2". Both Sides Now Publications. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Kesha Slays Bob Dylan's 'It Ain't Me Babe' at 2016 Billboard Music Awards". 

External links[edit]