Music Monday: The Byrds and Mr Tambourine Man from 1965

Posted By on May 22, 2017

“Hey, Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me …” was a Folk-Rock or Jangle-Rock song from the 1960s … and there isn’t any mistaking the “jingle jangle” sound. As many have noted over the years, the drug inspired lyrics are part and parcel of the LSD experimental culture in that era.

The song Mr. Tambourine Man was written by the talented 2017 Nobel Prize in literature recipient Bob Dylan in 1964 as well as recorded by him. Equally memorable, is the recording was by The Byrds in 1965 (below) … although “Mr. Tambourine Man” has also been recorded by a slew of artists and performed live for years including such notables from Judy Collins to William Shatneryes Captain James T. Kirk. One wonders what kept the The Byrds from the additional verses of the song … in any case, their harmonies offered a more melodious version, even if it is only a bit over 2 minutes long (ie. short).

 

  Mr. Tambourine Man | The Byrds – 1965

Hey, Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning,
I’ll come followin’ you

Take me for a trip upon your magic swirling ship
All my senses have been stripped
And my hands can’t feel to grip and my toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wandering
I’m ready to go anywhere,
I’m ready for to fade Into my own parade
Cast your dancing spell my way I promise…

Hey, Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning,
I’ll come followin’ you

(see the full 4 verses of Bob Dylan’s lyrics below the break)

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Though I know that evenings empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me,
I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship
My senses have been stripped
May hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wandering
I’m ready to go anywhere,
I’m ready for to fade Into my own parade
Cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go under it

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Though you might hear laughing, spinning, swinging madly across the sun
It’s not aimed at anyone
It’s just escaping on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facing
And if you hear vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time
It’s just a ragged clown behind I wouldn’t pay it any mind
It’s just a shadow you’re seeing that he’s chasing

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time
Far past the frozen leaves
The haunted frightened trees
Out to the windy bench
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
With one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea Circled by the circus sands
With all memory of fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Songwriters: Bob Dylan Mr. Tambourine Man lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co.

Comments

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.