For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

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Joe Guy
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For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Joe Guy »

Am I the first to notice this? Or maybe the last?

I first heard All Along the Watchtower on Dylan's "John Wesley Harding" album. My older brother had brought the album home one day back in the old daze. The lyrics are very clear. Even if you're not a Dylan fan, his voice is good in this and you can understand him.

The second two lines of the first verse are....
"Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth."

Yesterday I stumbled upon a website where someone posted the lyrics to the song and it said this:
"None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word"

Huh?

So, I did some lyric searches to see what's out there. I found these lyrics at The Jimi Hendrix Experience website.

"None will level on the line
Nobody offered his word"

So, I listened to Jimi's version of the song and that's what he says. That's also what it sounds like Lenny Kravitz is singing in his video below - or something similar.

I searched and couldn't find anything online about Hendrix or anyone else singing the wrong words. Maybe nobody cares. Maybe only I care. Maybe I need to get a life...

If you're interested, listen to Jimi at :44 here-



And listen to the correct lyrics here at :38 -



Or the wrong lyrics here at :46 -


Big RR
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Big RR »

It's quite some time ago, but I do have a vague recollection of some DJ raising the different lyrics and why they were different (don't recall now). It was a different time then, the only way you could get lyrics was buying the sheet music (which was expensive and hard to find) or, if you were lucky, on the album liner (but that still wasn't being done too much then) , so getting accurate lyrics were pretty tough then. Add to that the split in music between the folkies and those preferring rock, and not everyone listened to both singers.

I googled as well and couldn't find anything about this.

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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

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Joe Guy
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Joe Guy »

Yep, they got it wrong also. I have the original booklet/sheet music for the John Wesley Harding album which has the (original) correct lyrics and music. Note the "ah" and "uh" in the lyrics you posted. Those aren't part of the original lyrics but Hendrix sang it that way - so we know whoever published that sheet music was doing the Hendrix version - but he even got Hendrix's words wrong.

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Sue U
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Sue U »

I don't know how to break this to you, Joe, but musicians -- like all storytellers-- sometimes take liberties with the text. Jimi didn't play the same notes as Dylan, either. Maybe he just thought it sounded better his way. The "correct" version of any song is the one you like.

viewtopic.php?p=211214#p211214
GAH!

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Gob
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Gob »

Also, Hendrix was probably off his tits when he recorded it.
“If you trust in yourself, and believe in your dreams, and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.”

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Joe Guy
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Joe Guy »

Sue U wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:57 am
I don't know how to break this to you, Joe, but musicians -- like all storytellers-- sometimes take liberties with the text. Jimi didn't play the same notes as Dylan, either. Maybe he just thought it sounded better his way. The "correct" version of any song is the one you like.
You misheard my post. First of all, other than a grammatical change [eg: The Byrds sang 'there ain't no place I'm going to' instead of 'there is no place I'm going to'] I've never heard anyone change Dylan's lyrics. That's me. I, Joe Guy, have never heard Dylan's lyrics changed so completely by any artist. Especially someone as well known as Hendrix.

That's why I addressed this thread to Dylan fans. My discovery surely has absolutely no meaning or is of little or no interest to most people here - or most people on Earth.

And since this was the 60s, back when lyrics were heavy (man), I am surprised that I never caught it or heard about it anywhere. I had a subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine back then. I listened to KSAN, Jive 95. I was even on the cover of Rolling Stone once, coincidentally in the audience standing in front of the stage at Kezar Stadium below where Bob Dylan had just walked out to join Neil Young singing 'Are You Ready for The Country?'.

Anyway, Gob's probably right. Hendrix was probably off his tits.

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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by ex-khobar Andy »

Hey Joe - are you experienced enough with the Hendrix stuff to be asking these questions?

BTW and on a similar subject, Kristofferson wrote "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose, And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free . . ." and that's the way both he and Janis sang Bobby McGee. For some reason The Grateful Dead changed that to "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to do, And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free . . ." I'm certainly willing to believe the 'off their tits' excuse (for the Dead it was SOP) but it does change the meaning of the phrase. That sort of thing used to bother me in the 70s but I don't suppose I've heard the Dead version since then. I bought their eponymous double album (they wanted to call it Skull Fuck but the record company - Warner Bros- chickened out) which is in the basement somewhere along with other bits of black vinyl.

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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by MajGenl.Meade »

Which reminds me of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and the Band's historically correct

'Til Stoneman's cavalry came
And tore up the tracks again

which Joan Baez (at least in the original version) sang in her pure clear voice as

'Til so much cavalry came
And tore up the tracks again

She'd heard it incorrectly and so she sang it that way. It may have been corrected on some later versions but the first one messed up.
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Bicycle Bill »

MajGenl.Meade wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:24 pm
Which reminds me of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and the Band's historically correct

'Til Stoneman's cavalry came
And tore up the tracks again

which Joan Baez (at least in the original version) sang in her pure clear voice as

'Til so much cavalry came
And tore up the tracks again

She'd heard it incorrectly and so she sang it that way. It may have been corrected on some later versions but the first one messed up.
George Stoneman Jr. (August 8, 1822 – September 5, 1894) was a United States Army cavalry officer.  He was involved in multiple conflicts, including the Mexican–American War (where he did not see any combat), the Yuma War, and the American Civil War.  In 1861, Stoneman was promoted to Brigadier General, and was later put in command of the Army of the Potomac's 3rd Infantry Corps, and subsequently the newly-created cavalry corps.  So the line about "Stoneman's cavalry" making guerilla-like raids against the railroads is indeed historically accurate and entirely within the realm of possibility.

I'm more inclined to believe that she may have heard it sung as "Stoneman's cavalry" but, like me the first time I heard the song (the Baez version, over AM radio), heard "Stonewall" — referring to Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, the Confederate general.  Realizing that
a) Stonewall was Confederate and would not have been deliberately destroying the assets of his own side, and
b) he had been dead since the middle of 1863 anyway,
she eliminated the name completely, substituting the phrase "so much cavalry"... and at that point, it could've been Company Q from "Advance to the Rear" or even 'F-Troop', for all we knew.
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Big RR
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Big RR »

Funny, I always thought the original said "Sherman's cavalry", strange since Sherman did not command a cavalry unit. I figured the "so much" was inserted to fix it. I never thought of Stonean, although I heard his name in connection with Civil War cavalry.

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Joe Guy
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Joe Guy »

ex-khobar Andy wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:45 pm
Hey Joe - are you experienced enough with the Hendrix stuff to be asking these questions?
Are you a white collar conservative pointing your plastic finger at me?

Actually, I'm probably not experienced enough. I wasn't really a big fan of Hendrix and never bought any of his albums.

The Grateful Dead singing 'Nothing left to do' is almost as bad as what Hendrix did with Dylan's lines. They should have been punished but like you wrote, off their tits was SOP for them.

To Meade:

It's funny. I guess Joan realized her original error and changed it to the "Stonewall" error after her original recording. Go to 1:02 if you want to skip all the chatter...



Then she got it right eventually. At :21


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Gob
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Gob »

Joe Guy wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:34 pm


Are you a white collar conservative pointing your plastic finger at me?

"Excuse me, while I kiss this guy..." As Hendrix doesn't say.
“If you trust in yourself, and believe in your dreams, and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.”

Big RR
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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by Big RR »

Near "the bathroom on the right", another common mondegreen.

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Re: For Dylan Fans Only - Jimi Misheard It

Post by MajGenl.Meade »

Thanks for the "Stonewall" version, Joe. Hadn't heard that one before. Good that old Stoneman finally got his due!
"I don't have dreams. Either in dreams or life."
- Bert Kibbler

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