NS11: Percy’s song

This is a curiosity: a Dylan song from 1963, showing very clearly how immersed he was in American traditional song at that stage of his career. The song in this case is ‘The wind and the rain’; Dylan borrows its framework for a song telling a completely different story, albeit one that doesn’t really go anywhere.

The recording features whistle, melodica and several different vocal tracks; among other things, it’s an experiment in location recording, with different verses recorded in different parts of the house (beginning in a bedroom, appropriately enough, and finishing in the open air). To be brutally honest I think it’s more interesting than successful. The trouble was, after a certain point I’d got so embroiled in editing that re-recording anything seemed impossible. So the melodica has been edited to shreds, and the main result is that it seems to be in the wrong time signature; as for the main vocal, it progresses over the song from is that a bit on the flat side or is it just me? to quite definitely flat (although, to be fair, you should never try to hit a high note while wrenching open a jammed kitchen door). I should probably have scrapped the whole thing and re-done it a semitone down, but I’d done all that editing… The ambient directional recording effect I was hoping for doesn’t really come off, either – it just sounds like I’m going off-mike.

Not really selling this one, am I? It was fun recording it, I will say that. That’s the great thing about this home recording lark – even the recordings that make you wince afterwards are fun at the time.

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Filed under Bob Dylan, not a folk song

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