‘I ain’t lookin’ to compete with you
Beat or cheat or mistreat you
Simplify you, classify you
Deny, defy or crucify you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you’
Warning this post includes a potentially offensive word to express adulation:
All I Really Want To Do was one of Dylan’s most popular non-topical songs from the early years. I have always enjoyed listening to it because of it’s playfulness and banter. It brings a huge smile to my face because of his ‘tongue in cheek’ delivery which includes yodeling and ‘laughing’ no less. He really puts himself out there!
What makes this song reach a fucking insane nobel-prize winning standard is how damn good his lyrics are. He juxtaposed the piercing letter with frivolous delivery like a trapeze artist and reached the other end – having not only come out in one piece but emerging triumphant. There are hundreds of ways this song could have gone wrong for a 23 year old artist and he found the one way it was always going to sound right even after all these years.
Ok, onto formalities – Wikipedia: All I Really Want to Do” featured on the 1964 album, Another Side of Bob Dylan….It was recorded in just one take. Within a year of its release, it had also become one of Dylan’s most familiar songs to pop and rock audiences, due to hit cover versions by Cher and the Byrds….It was inspired by Dylan’s breakup with Suze Rotolo.
All I Really Want to Do and I Shall Be free No. 10 induced the biggest chuckles from that that album. The latter my class and I would sing at a work event in the Navy, of all places!
I was unable to locate online an original studio recording which is unfortunate, but the following audio from his show in Rhode island is the closest which resembles the original and gives a sense of everything I’ve described here: