Your mercury mouth

No prizes for guessing the theme of this lyrics quiz, which is a kind of follow-up to Rob’s. With a couple of exceptions these aren’t memorable lines in themselves, but a lot of them are in the vicinity of memorable lines; I think overall it’s pretty easy.

  1. And the whole world is on your case
    – “Make you feel my love” (JaneyG)
  2. Come here and step into the light
    “Highway 61 revisited” (ejh)
  3. Don’t tell her it isn’t so
    – “If you see her say hello” (Rob)
  4. Even the nobles get properly handled
    “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” (skidmarx)
  5. He was staring into space
    – “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” (chjh)
  6. He wasn’t too small and he wasn’t too big
    – “Man Gave Names To All The Animals” (JaneyG)
  7. Hunted like a crocodile
    “Shelter from the Storm” (chjh)
  8. I know that Fortune is waiting to be kind
  9. I wait for them to interrupt
    – “I want you” (Rob)
  10. I’m a generous bomb
    “Please Mrs Henry”
  11. I’ve been to gay Paree
    – “Not dark yet” (Rob)
  12. It makes you feel violent and strange
    “No time to think”
  13. It’s so hard to get on
    – “Visions of Johanna” (ejh)
  14. Ninety-nine years he just don’t deserve
    – “Percy’s song” (Rob)
  15. One bird book and a buzzard and a crow
    – “Tiny Montgomery” (chjh)
  16. She’s so hard to recognise
    – “True love tends to forget” (JaneyG)
  17. There’s a new day at dawn
    “Where are you tonight? (Journey through dark heat)” – chjh
  18. When the children were babies
    – “Sara” (chjh)
  19. White ladder all covered with water
    – “A hard rain’s a-gonna fall” (Rob)
  20. You weren’t really from the farm
    – “(Sooner or Later) One of Us Must Know” (ejh)

Answers in comments.

Bonus question: what’s true (at the time of writing) of “All Along The Watchtower”, “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Highway 61 Revisited”, “Maggie’s Farm”, “Tangled Up In Blue” and “Blowin’ In The Wind” but no other songs? And which three songs are most likely to be added to this list?

Update 7 down, 13 to go (or 9 and 11 if Chris chips in his two guesses). Not that it helps, but #8 has been one of my favourite Dylan songs ever since I first heard it, at a folk club about five years ago; that folk club is also the only place I’ve ever heard #1, although I understand it’s become a bit of a standard. Apart from those, the only songs on the list with folkie connections are #4, #14 and #19; in the case of #7 I suspect a debt to “Lakes of Pontchartrain” (“If it weren’t for the alligators I’d sleep out in the wood”), but that may be a stretch.

Update 2 Ten of the remaining 13 songs first appeared on record within one five-year period. Hell of a period.

Update 3 9 down, 11 to go. (Five-year period: nine of the remaining 11.) Chris, do you want to take #7? (Never mind, chjh nabbed it.)

Update 4 7 left. Apart from #10, which chjh spotted as being on the Basement Tapes, they’re on five different albums, three of which have already had a track named (two tracks in one case).

Update 5 6 left; five different albums (including the Basement Tapes), two of which have already had a track named. (Nothing else off BotT, in other words.)

Update 6 Not done yet, but we’re getting there. Thanks to JaneyG for naming both the sublime “TLTTF” (there is some great stuff on Street Legal) and the ridiculous “MGNTATA” (the next line is “Ahhh…. think I’ll call it a pig”). Incidentally, the clues to the bonus questions, and my reply to comment 2, are all on this page (clicking on the titles is not required).

Absolutely final update Beans spilt. Sorry nobody got “Mississippi”; it’s a fantastic song, particularly if you hear it sung by somebody who’s still got a voice. “No Time To Think” is a great song, too – once again, I strongly recommend Street Legal, particularly the remastered CD (the mix of the original LP was dreadful).

The supplementary questions were about live performances. “All Along The Watchtower”, “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Highway 61 Revisited”, “Maggie’s Farm”, “Tangled Up In Blue” and “Blowin’ In The Wind” are the only songs Dylan has played live over 1,000 times – nearly 2,000 for the first two of them. Coming up on the rails with 900+ are “It Ain’t Me Babe”, “Mr Tambourine Man” and “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35”. “Please Mrs Henry”, “Tiny Montgomery” and “No Time To Think” have never been played live by Dylan; more intriguingly, “Percy’s Song” and “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” are among the songs that he’s played live precisely once.



  1. ejh
    Posted 26 May 2011 at 09:39 | Permalink | Reply

    I can do 2, 13 and 20 immediately without recourse to search engines, but I don’t want to ruin it for anybody who can do all 20. Which is probably a lot of people, but not me.

  2. chris y
    Posted 26 May 2011 at 11:00 | Permalink | Reply

    I can likewise do 7, 14 and I think 19, but I will share ejh’s reticence and wait for the obsessives.

    • Phil
      Posted 26 May 2011 at 11:51 | Permalink | Reply

      Cool. All we need now is some obsessives. Maybe I’ll ping Norm again.

      10, 12 and 15 have something in common, incidentally, as do 5 and 14.

  3. Posted 27 May 2011 at 05:23 | Permalink | Reply

    Well I can do 14 straight off, and a couple of others are pinging off my subconscious. I’ll see what comes up.

  4. Posted 27 May 2011 at 05:36 | Permalink | Reply

    Number 9 too.

  5. Posted 27 May 2011 at 05:43 | Permalink | Reply

    Got a third on and thought, sod it, someone has to start giving answers. Most of mine are different from the ones other folk have guessed.

    9. I Want You
    11. Not Dark Yet
    14. Percy’s Song

    Still thinking about a couple but may have reahed a standstill.

  6. Posted 27 May 2011 at 11:28 | Permalink | Reply

    Ok. My three were Highway 61 Revisited, Visions of Johanna and (Sooner or Later) One Of Us Must Know.

    I’m just doing what I was supposed to do.

  7. skidmarx
    Posted 27 May 2011 at 12:52 | Permalink | Reply

    I think 4 is Hattie Carroll, which I heard Leon Rosselson play on Saturday in a gig I couldn’t get into.

  8. Posted 28 May 2011 at 02:56 | Permalink | Reply

    #19 is “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”. Can’t think how I missed that first time round, but then I missed Visions of Johanna FGS.

    • Phil
      Posted 28 May 2011 at 11:22 | Permalink | Reply

      Missing out the “I saw a” was a bit sneaky, but it would have been too easy otherwise.

  9. Posted 28 May 2011 at 03:07 | Permalink | Reply

    I think my brain is doing this by jiggling the fragments around until one hits a metre, or a rhyme, or both that I recognise. #3 eventually clattered into a slot labelled “If You See Her, Say Hello”.

    Not Googling yet, but I’m getting there…..

  10. chjh
    Posted 29 May 2011 at 12:29 | Permalink | Reply

    18 is from Sara, 7 is from Shelter from the storm, and 17 is from Where are you tonight? Phil’s right – that was a hell of a period.

    10 and 15 are both from ‘The basement tapes’, if that helps others get there. Given Phil’s hint in his reply at #2, 12 is probably a Basement tapes song too.

    • Posted 29 May 2011 at 12:39 | Permalink | Reply

      Cheers, chjh. But that’s not the link – those are the only two Basement Tapes songs.

      • chjh
        Posted 29 May 2011 at 12:49 | Permalink

        Thanks – it does sound different to the other two. And saying that, 15 has just pinged as being from Tiny Montgomery.

  11. chjh
    Posted 30 May 2011 at 11:43 | Permalink | Reply

    Doh! “He was staring into space over at the Jack of Hearts” from Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts.

  12. JaneyG
    Posted 6 June 2011 at 10:49 | Permalink | Reply

    1 is Make You Feel My Love (how did you not get that one?)
    6 is Man Gave Names to All the Animals
    16 is True Love Tends to Forget

    …Those last three are the only ones I couldn’t get first time around.

    • Phil
      Posted 7 June 2011 at 23:11 | Permalink | Reply

      You mean you did get the other 17?

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