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Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
01/13/2016
'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'  Bob Dylan

"So I'm walkin' down that long lonesome road, babe
Where I'm bound, I can't tell"

'Dylan said of this track: "A lot of people make it sort of a love song - slow and easygoing. But it isn't a love song. It's a statement that maybe you can say something to make yourself feel better. It's as if you were talking to yourself." (thanks, Will - Annapolis, MD)
Dylan wrote this after his girlfriend Suze Rotolo went off to Italy to study at the University of Perugia and left him in New York. Dylan re-imagined their separation here as him leaving her. Rotolo can be seen walking with Dylan on the cover of the The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album. An artist and civil rights activist, Rotolo died on February 24, 2011 at age 67.' Bron: Songfacts

In the liner notes to the original release, Nat Hentoff calls the song "a statement that maybe you can say to make yourself feel better... as if you were talking to yourself." The song was written around the time that Suze Rotolo indefinitely prolonged her stay in Italy. The melody is based on the public domain traditional song 'Who's Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I'm Gone'. The melody was taught to Dylan by folksinger Paul Clayton, who had used the melody in his song "Who's Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I'm Gone?" Bron: Wikipedia

Zie ook het in memoriam van Suze Rotolo in Rolling Stone van 27 februari 2011: "In the summer of 1962 Rotolo took a long trip to Italy, leaving Dylan alone and heartbroken in New York. During this period he penned "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," "Boots of Spanish Leather" and "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" -- all bittersweet love songs about Rotolo."

'Suze Rotolo, het meisje naast Bob Dylan' Bron: InfoNu
"Het album The Freewheelin’ betekende de grote doorbraak voor Bob Dylan. Voor diegenen die hierbij aanwezig waren, was het alsof er een raket gelanceerd werd. Dylan was de hoogte ingeschoten en zij stonden hem met rook in hun ogen en tuitende oren na te staren. Een van hen was zijn toenmalige liefde Suze Rotolo. Hun relatie duurde maar een paar jaar, maar zou haar de rest van haar leven achtervolgen vanwege de legendarische foto op de hoes."

In dit licht is de song dus in feite een poging van Dylan om zijn verlies te verwerken en het verhaal een andere draai te geven, teneinde zich beter in staat te stellen met zijn liefdesverdriet om te gaan. Eigenlijk lijkt hij dit ook wel toe te geven, zoals je kunt opmaken uit bovenstaande citaten.
Zijn vriend Johnny Cash zou dit nummer ook vertolken (1964) en gaf er een stoere draai aan door het nummer te eindigen met de tekst: "Just forget it from now on sugar, it's okay."
Eigenlijk is het een mooi lied van en voor grote mannen met kleine hartjes. Soms ook van toepassing op vrouwen: voor Joan Baez, naar men/ze zegt ooit behoorlijk verliefd op Dylan, heeft dit nummer waarschijnlijk ook een meer dan gemiddelde emoitionele betekenis. Ze zal het in ieder geval ook zelf vaak zingen, zoals hier.
In 2019 doet Joan Baez een afscheidstournee en zingt dan in het Duitse Bad Honnef nog een keer 'Don't Think Twice'.
Joan Baez, Bad Honnef, Germany, 6. July 2019 'Don`t Think Twice' Bron: YouTube
Het is opmerkelijk hoe weemoedig en ook wel deemoedig, de toon is waarmee ze het nummer aan ons laat horen. Wat nog meer opvalt is dat Joan de originele tekst op een paar plekjes verandert, waardoor ze  opnieuw een inkijkje geeft in haar gevoelens ten aanzien van Bob Dylan? Met name haar vertolking van het laatste couplet lijkt toch wel veelzeggend.
Op 28 jul 2019 zingt Baez hetzelfde nummer opnieuw, nu in Madrid. En weer krijgen we de subtiel aangepaste songtekst te horen, die zoveel lijkt te zeggen over hoe Joan Baez op dat moment tegen het leven en haar relatie tot Bob Dylan, met terugwerkende kracht, aankijkt:
'JOAN BAEZ Universal Music Festival MQ' 28 jul 2019

Joan Baez Setlist 28 jul 2019 Teatro Real Madrid Spain
Fare Thee Well Tour 2019/2019

'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'  Bob Dylan  Versie Joan Baez 2019

It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you dont know by now
An' it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don't matter anyhow

When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Well look out your window and I'll be gone
You're the reason I'm travelin' on
But don't think twice, it's all right

It ain't no use in callin' out my name, babe
Like you never've done before
It ain't no use in callin' out my name
I can't hear you any more

I wish there was somethin' you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin' anyway
And don't think twice, it's all right

Well, it ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
It's the light I never knowed
An' it ain't no use in turnin' on your light
I'm on the dark side of the road

I'm a-thinkin' and a-wonderin' all the way down the road
I once loved a boy, he was a child I'm told
I gave him my heart but he wanted my soul
But don't think twice, it's all right

And I'm going down that long lonesome road babe
Where I'm bound, I can't tell
But goodbye's too good a word, babe
I'll just say fare thee well

I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
Well you couldn't have done better and I don't mind
And you just never wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right
And don't think twice, it's all right

Bob Dylan zelf valt hier, hier, of hier (Town Hall Birmingham England May 5 1965) te beluisteren.

Meer over Dylan in New York en zijn relatie met Suze Rotolo ook in het album Greenwich Village.

'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'  Bob Dylan

It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you dont know by now
An' it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don't matter anyhow

When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I'll be gone
You're the reason I'm travelin' along
Don't think twice, it's all right

Well, it ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An' it ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
I'm on the dark side of the road

Still I wish there was somethin' you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
But we never did too much talkin' anyway
So don't think twice, it's all right

It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
Like you never did before
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
I can't hear you any more

I'm a-thinkin' and a-wonderin' walkin down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I'm told
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don't think twice, it's all right

So I'm walkin' down that long lonesome road, babe
Where I'm bound, I can't tell
But goodbye's too good a word, babe
So I'll just say fare thee well

I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right