(In the year this song was written..a singer-songwriter steadfast in their conviction and humble in their manner, see above)
This is the second song to appear from Dylan’s maligned 1985 record Empire Burlesque. I reviewed the last track Dark Eyes here not so long ago and it is the stand-out on the record, but Emotionally Yours isn’t far behind. His delivery of it live below with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Farm-Aid really does it for me. It’s as though he was there break-of the morning and pleasing some early birds, but the reality wasn’t that..and I don’t care.
I never grow tired of seeing this Emotionally Yours performance, even though Dylan said in the above video interview that they couldn’t hear and didn’t have monitors at Farm Aid. You can actually see him remonstrating during the performance. They had it against them as he put it.
Still Dylan had a conviction and a no-nonsense manner in his approach and that remarkable intonation and inflection of voice to carry the message. It may not resonate well with the general listening public unlike his commercially released video of the song, but I generally prefer his Burlesque songs live than on the record.
Come baby, shake me, come baby, take me, I would be satisfied
Come baby, hold me, come baby, help me, my arms are open wide
I could be unraveling wherever I’m traveling, even to foreign shores
But I will always be emotionally yours.
As I wrote in the Dark Eyes article, Empire Burlesque is an overly produced 80’s churn-out session, but when the songs are interpreted live they are really solid. The only track in my estimation on the record which can’t be superseded live is Dark Eyes. Dylan by 1985 was well out of his gospel-song stage and exploring a new world in songwriting.
Emotionally Yours was played just 19 times in concert. As the marvellous Untold Dylan blog states:
And does he remember what he was going through with all the religious music of five years before? Well, maybe not…
‘It’s like my whole life never happened
When I see you, it’s as if I never had a thought
I know this dream, it might be crazy
But it’s the only one I’ve got.’