Bob Dylan – Positively Fourth Street – His best track?

I used to love this track for its raging sarcasm and vitriol. This was Dylan at his snarling best hitting out at the Folkies who had turned on him when he went electric. It holds nothing back.

The only other put-down in the same league was John Lennon’s diatribe aimed at McCartney.

Positively Fourth Street.

You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend
When I was down you just stood there grinnin’
You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on the side that’s winnin’

You say I let you down, ya know its not like that
If you’re so hurt, why then don’t you show it?
You say you’ve lost your faith, but that’s not where its at
You have no faith to lose, and ya know it

I know the reason, that you talked behind my back
I used to be among the crowd you’re in with
Do you take me for such a fool, to think I’d make contact
With the one who tries to hide what he don’t know to begin with?

You see me on the street, you always act surprised
You say “how are you?”, “good luck”, but ya don’t mean it
When you know as well as me, you’d rather see me paralyzed
Why don’t you just come out once and scream it

No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief perhaps I’d rob them
And tho I know you’re dissatisfied with your position and your place
Don’t you understand, its not my problem?

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is to see you

Certainly no pretty Pop song. There’s real venom in the words and performance. It sure suited my teenage angst.

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6 thoughts on “Bob Dylan – Positively Fourth Street – His best track?

  1. Opher, not many people I know appreciate Dylan’s poetry like you do and it amazes me how he speaks to both of us in such a deep way given the huge age gap between us and the geographical distance too. I guess that’s part of the magic, it will never get old and it will never die. Amazing track.

      • That’s OK Teresa. I know what you meant. It is great that we can communicate across generations and appreciate the same things. It gives me hope. More power to you. You are the future.

    • I think Dylan transcends time and space. His words are poetry and that impacts on the heart of all people regardless of age, gender and race. He is eternal.
      I’m so glad that he has a similar effect on a young mind like yours as it still does on an old fart like me. I remember the impact it had on me when I was your age. He was and still is immense.

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