Music of the Day - Bob Dylan: Mama, You Been On My Mind

Often covered by other musicians, the original recording of “Mama, You Been On My Mind” has remained in the shadows as it wasn’t included on any Bob Dylan’s studio albums. He recorded the song in 1964, however it was officially released only in 1991 as part of “The Bootleg Series”.It is a very moving song with beautiful lyrics. Some of the versions recorded by other musicians that I've heard, in my opinion, focus too much on this aspect, and as a result the song tends to become overly embellished and sentimental. Dylan’s delivery on the contrary is deceivingly ernest and straight-forward, sounding almost detached, and I find that it makes for a more subtle and noble sentiment.




Bob Dylan - Mama, You Been On My Mind 1964

Perhaps it's the color of the sun cut flat And covering the crossroads I'm standing at, Or maybe it's the weather or something like that, But mama, you been on my mind.

I don't mean trouble, please don't put me down or get upset, I am not pleading or saying "I can't forget you." I do not pace the floor bowed down and bent, but yet, Mama, you been on my mind.

Even though my eyes are hazy and my thoughts they might be narrow, Where you been don't bother me or bring me down in sorrow. It don't even mind who you'll be waking with tomorrow, Mama, you're just on my mind.

I'm not asking you to say words like "yes" or "no," Please understand me, I have no place I'm calling you to go. I'm just whispering to myself, so I can't pretend that I don't know, Mama, you are on my mind.

When you wake up in the morning, baby, look inside your mirror. You know I won't be next to you, you know I won't be near. I'd just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear As someone who has had you on his mind.