Black Muddy River – Bob Dylan (April 6, 1992 – Melbourne, Australia)

Bob Dylan 1992 30th Anniversary concert

Bob Dylan 1992 30th Anniversary Concert

The moment I heard this Never Ending tour performance of the Grateful Dead’s Black Muddy River from Bob Dylan I knew I had to add it to my music collection. It’s one of the few songs I can listen to on repeat and never grow tired of it. And I mean that most technically, because I have done just that on multiple occasions. I could hardly make out the words when I first heard it and the live audience recording leaves a lot to be desired, but it doesn’t matter – it’s what he does with it. I get lost in this song; it unclogs the senses.

Dylan really does sound like he is walking alone by the Black Muddy River and singing a song of his own, but it sounds like mine too.

This Grateful Dead song is beautifully written.

When the last rose of summer pricks my finger,
And the hot sun chills me to the bone,
When I can’t hear the song for the singer,
And I can’t tell my pillow from a stone,
I will walk alone by the black muddy river,
And sing me a song of my own,
I will walk alone by the black muddy river,
And sing me a song of my own.

Robert Hunter wrote these lyrics as he approached his own mid-point in life. Here’s what he told Rolling Stone in a 1987 interview:

“Black Muddy River is about the perspective of age and making a decision about the necessity of living in spite of a rough time, and the ravages of anything else that’s going to come at you. When I wrote it, I was writing about how I felt about being 45 years old and what I’ve been through. And then when I was done with it, obviously it was for the Dead.”

I’ve listened to the original studio recording from the Grateful Dead, but I prefer Bob’s version. Of course I’m the last person you’d consider impartial when comparing Dylan’s music to other artists. Black Muddy River was released on the Grateful Dead’s 12th studio album In the Dark. It reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart.

1. – Greatest Stories Ever Told – “Black Muddy River”

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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15 comments on “Black Muddy River – Bob Dylan (April 6, 1992 – Melbourne, Australia)
  1. macalder02 says:

    Así si vale la pena disfrutar de una leyenda irrepetible de la música Sus canciones van asociadas, para mí, a mi juventud. Una etapa inolvidable de mi vida y hasta ahora, digo disfrutando esas letras qué eran pura poesía. Saludos

  2. […] via Black Muddy River – Bob Dylan (April 6, 1992 – Melbourne, Australia) — Observation Blogger […]

  3. badfinger20 says:

    It’s one of the last songs Garcia sang at his last concert with the Dead. Bob puts his own spin on it with his vocals…great song.

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