The classic track Bob Dylan said meant nothing to him

bob dylan

Bob Dylan was a poet and a reporter in equal measure in his songs. Whether it was the early 1960s civil rights movement or sorting out the specifics of his personal life while creating albums like Blood on the Tracks, the folk icon always incorporated elements of contemporary history into whatever he was creating. But some songs do slip through the cracks when there are so many of them, and Dylan felt that “John Wesley Harding” lacked any emotional resonance for him.

However, Dylan’s words typically carried multiple meanings, depending on who was listening. Occasionally, when discussing injustices, he sounded a little too casual. It seemed as though he was making fun of the idea that people were listening to everything he said.

After becoming an icon, he intended for John Wesley Harding to serve as a healing album. He had experienced a terrible motorbike accident. Performing a lot of folk songs with a country influence while living in the country was the furthest thing from the pinup rock star persona he was assuming on albums such as Blonde on Blonde.

However, that didn’t stop anyone from attempting to analyse his songs in any case. The heavy metal juggernauts would eventually get their name from a song like “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest“. Anyone who has ever been within three feet of a classic rock station is probably familiar with Jimi Hendrix’s legendary rendition of “All Along the Watchtower“. The song he performed a few years after Dylan debuted it.

Regarding the lead song, Dylan told Jann Wenner that he didn’t think he had written any better songs and that it held no personal significance for him. It was originally a lengthy ballad, reminiscent of one of those vintage cowboy ballads. However, I became fatigued in the middle of the second verse. It was a lovely little melody, and I didn’t want to waste it. So, I just wrote a quick third verse, and I recorded that.”

However, one could argue that the song’s third verse is its best. Although Harding had already established himself as a charitable man akin to Robin Hood, the last lines about people spreading his ideals and no one being able to find him seem lifted straight out of an unpublished American folktale.

And even though it’s not the greatest verse he’s ever written, Dylan’s soul is undoubtedly sprinkled throughout it. Dylan was one of the most well-known musicians. It’s easy to imagine him pondering what other people thought of him. His name is still on everyone’s lips even after he’s disappeared completely.

Dylan intended for this to be his return to Earth. However, he ended up furthering his own mythology by crafting a song with such a folk feel. Even though someone writes at this caliber their entire life, critics will always criticize them. Whether they like it or not. He may not have felt comfortable with the attention.

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