Archive for February 19th, 2010

Ranking Bob Dylan Songs, #80: Baby, Let Me Follow You Down

“Baby, Let Me Follow You Down” is the third-highest ranked song from Bob Dylan’s eponymous debut. Of all the 11 folk standards recorded on the album, this song may be the most indicative of Dylan’s later self-penned songs. For one, the song is much more relaxed than a lot of the other tracks on this album. He doesn’t rush through any parts with his guitar, or strain his voice to make it sound unnatural, or force anything into the melody. Instead, the song features a subdued confidence, something that would become a trademark of Dylan’s later folk recordings.

The song also features evidence of Dylan’s strengths as a songwriter. Of course, Dylan didn’t write “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down”: As he announces at the opening of the song, Eric Von Schmidt, another popular staple of the East Coast folk music scene, had made it a key part of his act. The song actually goes even further back than Von Schmidt, though, dating at least as far as 1936 when it was recorded by Walter Coleman and called, “Mama Let Me Lay On You”—as usual with folk songs, tracing the origins of this one is like trying to map your family’s genealogy. On the album, Dylan would credit Von Schmidt with the writing of this particular incarnation of the song. So while the song wasn’t written by Dylan, it had a clear impact on his later writing, particularly the lyrics. Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: “It’s Getting the Best of Me”

“She’s obviously the problem here. There’s no other source of kryptonite…. Something just ain’t right, and it’s got to be her.”

—James on Stephenie

I mentioned last week that it would be interesting to see how much stock the players put into each other’s past appearances on the show. After the second episode, the answer is clearly a lot. Not only have alliances been forged on the basis of prior relationships (Tom and Steph; James, Amanda, and Cirie), but James specifically brought up Steph’s ignominious membership in the Ulong tribe—the only one to never win an immunity challenge.

The episode started with the focus on the Villains and specifically Boston Rob, who was growing frustrated with the inactivity of his tribe. It’s hard to blame him: Coach, Russell, and Randy are particularly useless men, and none of the female Villains seem prepared for the long-haul (we could already see Courtney’s rib cage on Day 4; that does not bode well). Contrast that with the Heroes, who have Colby, JT, James, and Tom as ready and eager workers and Steph as one of the most physically gifted women the show has ever seen. Irritated by problems with the tribe’s shelter, Rob went out for a walk in the woods, where he proceeded to collapse and lose consciousness. Continue reading