Song Lyric Sunday – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

This week’s prompt from Jim Adams for Song Lyric Sunday is “Baby” Spoilt for choice I decided to go with “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” by Bob Dylan. This is one of Dylan’s finest and most memorable. The poetry is exquisite and I wish I could write this well. I hope you enjoy it.

Like “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “Positively 4th Street,” “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” is one of Dylan’s “kiss off” songs, this time sung to someone identified only as “Baby Blue.” The song opens with a bitter declaration:
You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast

By the end of the first verse, however, Dylan’s voice lilts in grief and regret:
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue
The entire song oscillates between these emotions of scorn and sadness. The lyrics combine realist and surrealist images seamlessly and contain some of Dylan’s best-loved lines:
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you

Over the years, many critics and historians have made their case for who the “real” Baby Blue was. Folk musicians John Baez, David Blue, and Paul Clayton have all been floated as suspects, but thus far none of it has amounted to much beyond loose conjecture.

The song was recorded for Bringing It All Back Home on January 15, 1965, the same day as “Gates of Eden,” “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home album contains a solo acoustic version Dylan recorded on January 13, 1965, but didn’t release. The album also contains a semi-electric version from January 14, 1965.

Dylan generally played his songs live a few times before recording them in studio. With “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” he wanted to get it down on record before he had a chance to become too comfortable with it in concert.

This song appears last on the album and has been categorized as one of Dylan’s “farewell” songs. As such, it continues a pattern established with the two preceding albums, which both also wrapped up with “farewell” songs. “The Times They Are A-Changin'” finishes with “Restless Farewell,” and Another Side of Bob Dylan finishes with “It Ain’t Me Babe.”

“It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” has been covered by many artists over the years including: Them featuring Van Morrison, Eric Burdon and The Animals, Marianne Faithful, Joni Mitchell, The Grateful Dead, The Byrds, Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez.

Joan Baez covered the song on her 1965 album Farewell, Angelina. Baez is one of the most frequently fingered suspects for being the “real” Baby Blue. 

Backstory courtesy of Songfacts

Lyrics

You must leave now, take what you need,
you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep,
you better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Look out, the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue
 
The highway is for gamblers,
better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
The sky too is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue
 
All your seasick sailors, they're all rowing home
Your empty-handed army is all going home
Your lover who just walked out the door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor
The carpet too is moving under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue
 
Leave your stepping stones behind there,
something calls for you
Forget the dead you've left,
they will not follow you
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue
 
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriter: Bob Dylan

It's All over Now, Baby Blue lyrics ยฉ
Special Rider Music, ABKCO MUSIC INC

  23 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

  1. December 15, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Nobody can write lyrics like Zimmy writes them. He is a living legend. I love your choice for SLS, Christine.

    • Christine Bolton
      December 15, 2019 at 7:05 am

      Thanks Lisa. He is the best, isn’t he? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • December 15, 2019 at 1:35 pm

        <3 Yes

  2. December 15, 2019 at 2:03 am

    An excellent song choice. Damn, why didnโ€™t I think of it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Christine Bolton
      December 15, 2019 at 7:03 am

      Thanks! Isn’t it amazing,I always think that every week. i love seeing what every one has picked. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. December 15, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Dylan’s voice still surprises me ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ

    • Christine Bolton
      December 15, 2019 at 9:26 am

      Yes, it has a way of putting you in a place in time. โ˜ฎ๏ธโค๏ธ

  4. December 15, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Christine thanks for starting out my day with this Dylan masterpiece.

    • Christine Bolton
      December 15, 2019 at 9:26 am

      My pleasure Jim. Have a great day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. December 15, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Great song choice! There is no mistaking Dylan’s voice when you hear him sing.

    • Christine Bolton
      December 15, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks Lisa. Iโ€™m happy you liked it ๐Ÿ™‚

      • December 15, 2019 at 8:04 pm

        Those lyrics that voice what’s to odds ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’œ

  6. December 15, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Haven’t listened to Dylan for a long time! Thank you. I had an 8 foot poster of him in University. That was the early 70’s. Wow. Memories!

    • Christine Bolton
      December 15, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband still has his Dylan poster from back in the day! Lol

      • December 15, 2019 at 12:58 pm

        Wow! This one was deep purple with him in black silhouette. I hung it on the inside of the door. Like I said! Memories!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Christine Bolton
        December 15, 2019 at 12:59 pm

        I think itโ€™s the same one! ๐Ÿคฃ

      • December 15, 2019 at 1:41 pm

        OMG! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Ž

      • Christine Bolton
        December 15, 2019 at 1:49 pm

        ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

      • December 15, 2019 at 1:51 pm

        Like they say! It’s a small world! But only special people keep posters that long. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜Ž

  7. December 15, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Very good – can’t go wrong with Dylan songs. Hadn’t heard this one in a long time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Christine Bolton
      December 17, 2019 at 12:48 am

      Thanks so much. Iโ€™m happy you liked it ๐Ÿ˜Š

  8. December 16, 2019 at 1:28 am

    Nice classic share, Christine! ๐Ÿ‘

    • Christine Bolton
      December 17, 2019 at 12:45 am

      Thanks Felicia โ˜บ๏ธ

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