dinsdag 10 april 2012

Bob Dylan - Percy’s Song (1964)

Peggy Seeger


Bob Dylan - Percy’s Song (1964)


Bad news, bad news
Come to me where I sleep
Turn, turn, turn again
Sayin’ one of your friends
Is in trouble deep
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Tell me the trouble
Tell once to my ear
Turn, turn, turn again
Joliet prison
And ninety-nine years
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Oh what’s the charge
Of how this came to be
Turn, turn, turn again
Manslaughter
In the highest of degree
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

I sat down and wrote
The best words I could write
Turn, turn, turn again
Explaining to the judge
I’d be there on Wednesday night
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Without a reply
I left by the moon
Turn, turn, turn again
And was in his chambers
By the next afternoon
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Could ya tell me the facts?
I said without fear
Turn, turn, turn again
That a friend of mine
Would get ninety-nine years
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

A crash on the highway
Flew the car to a field
Turn, turn, turn again
There was four persons killed
And he was at the wheel
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

But I knew him as good
As I’m knowin’ myself
Turn, turn, turn again
And he wouldn’t harm a life
That belonged to someone else
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

The judge spoke
Out of the side of his mouth
Turn, turn, turn again
Sayin’, “The witness who saw
He left little doubt”
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

That may be true
He’s got a sentence to serve
Turn, turn, turn again
But ninety-nine years
He just don’t deserve
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Too late, too late
For his case it is sealed
Turn, turn, turn again
His sentence is passed
And it cannot be repealed
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

But he ain’t no criminal
And his crime it is none
Turn, turn, turn again
What happened to him
Could happen to anyone
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

And at that the judge jerked forward
And his face it did freeze
Turn, turn, turn again
Sayin’, “Could you kindly leave
My office now, please”
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

Well his eyes looked funny
And I stood up so slow
Turn, turn, turn again
With no other choice
Except for to go
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

I walked down the hallway
And I heard his door slam
Turn, turn, turn again
I walked down the courthouse stairs
And I did not understand
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

And I played my guitar
Through the night to the day
Turn, turn, turn again
And the only tune
My guitar could play
Was, “Oh the Cruel Rain
And the Wind”


Dit is weer een “outtake” van “The Times they are a changing”.
Hoewel het een pachtnummer is haalde het niet de uiteindelijke release. Het werd pas uitgebracht in 1985 op de “Biograph” kompilatie.

 


Volgens Dylan komt deze mooie melodie weer van Paul Clayton : “Paul was just an incredible songwriter and singer. He must have known a thousand songs. I learned ‘Pay Day at Coal Creek’ and a bunch of other songs from him. We played on the same circuit and I travelled with him part of the time. When you’re listening to songs night after night, some of them rub off on you. ‘Don’t Think Twice’ was a riff that Paul had. And so was ‘Percy’s Song.’

Wat betreft de tekst kan men gerust stellen dat Dylan te leen ging bij “The Wind and the Rain” (ook gekend als “Two Sisters”).
“Two loving sisters was a-walking side by side, Oh the wind and rain. One pushed the other off in the waters, waters deep. And she cried, “The dreadful wind and rain.”
The Wind and the Rain

“Bad news, bad news come to me where I sleep, Turn, turn, turn again. Sayin’ one of your friends is in trouble deep, Turn, turn to the rain and the wind”.
Percy’s Song

Het einde van de song is nog meer frappant :

“The only tune that my fiddle would play, was, “Oh, the wind and the rain.” The only tune that my fiddle would play, was  “The dreadful wind and rain.”
The Wind and the Rain

“And I played my guitar through the night to the day, Turn, turn, turn again. And the only tune my guitar could play was, “Oh the cruel rain and the wind.”
Percy’s Song.

The Two Sisters is een Appalachian variant op de oude Schotse ballad The Twa Sisters (Child #10). Oudste referentie als broadside ‘The Miller and The King’s daughter’ in 1656. Cecil Sharp vond een Mr. Westley Batten in 1916 met een versie van The Two Sisters. Mogelijk komt de song oorspronkelijk (17de eeuw) uit Noorwegen want daar bestaan verschillende varianten (als Dei To Systre).

Dit is een murderballad waarbij in de meeste gevallen de ene zus de andere verdrinkt. Even verderop vist een molenaar dat lijk op, maakt een muziekinstrument met het haar en gebeente, waarna spontaan dit lied begint te spelen, waardoor de akelige waarheid aan het licht komt.

De oudste versie is deze van Bradley Kincaid (1928).

Dylan zong de song in Karen Wallace’s appartement in St Paul (Minnesota) in Mei 1960.

Hier zijn de invloeden van Dylan :


Alan Lomax with Peggy Seeger, Guy Carawan, John Cole & Sammy Stokes – The Two Sisters.(1956)



Paul Clayton – The Two Sisters.(1956)




Bob Dylan : The two sisters (1960 Karen Wallace Tapes)




Bob Dylan - Percy's Song




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