Bob Dylan: My Back Pages


I am not Dylan’s greatest fan, though I did queue for nine hours to get tickets for a concert at Earl’s Court in 1978. My seat was so far back that he was a blip in the distance.

I don’t think much of the tune or the lyrics of My Back Pages apart from the line

Ah, but I was so much older then/I’m younger than that now

Which is one of my two favourite pop song lines, the other being

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose

 from Kris Kristofferson’s Me and Bobby McGee, which I wrote about here.

Actually, make that three favourites: the third is in The Chiffons’ He’s so Fine:

Got to be mine

Sooner or later

I hope it’s not later

I mentioned it here.

My Back Pages was written by Dylan, obviously, and included on his 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan.

The Byrds almost made it tuneful in 1967 on their album Younger Than Yesterday, a reference to the line I talked about above. It was released as a single which reached No 30 in America, the group’s last top 40 hit. It did not chart in Britain.

The Ramones gave it some welly on their 1994 album Acid Eaters:

There are numerous other covers, of which the most risible may be by the Hollies in 1969 on their album Hollies Sing Dylan. Dear oh dear.

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