I’m Your Teenage Prayer (1967) – Bob Dylan

We are having a Tuesday Basement Tapes festival with this and I’m Not There being released here because they follow in alphabetical order in the Music Library Project. What a marvellous coincidence!
I’m Your Teenage Prayer is a band and singer at their most rudimentary and injecting their jocular selves in singing a song and playing music. It’s another one from Dylan’s previously unreleased Basement Tapes material released on Volume 11 of his Bootleg Series. I like hearing it because it makes me laugh and their process of goofing around with the music and their voices is insightful.

They seem to just be experimenting at whim and it’s a great example of how far a band must go to achieve a great song. Obviously, they never thought this song was in ‘the works‘. You could imagine playing in bands where you played around like this, just because you could, and it was fun. 

Untold Dylan wrote (reference below): “If you have never played in a band that is not specifically rehearsing for a live performance, but instead is just kicking ideas around and having fun, you won’t know what it is like, and may well find it hard to understand why the guys spent so many hours larking about with silly songs like “I’m your teenage prayer”.

Take a look at me baby
(Just take a look at me baby)
I am your teenage prayer
(Yes I’m your teenage prayer)
Take a look at me baby
(Just take a look over here at me baby)
I am your teenage prayer

Take a look and when it’s cloudy all the time
All you gotta do is say you’re mine
I come runnin’ anywhere
Take a look at me baby
(Just take a look at me baby)
I’m your teenage prayer

I presumed Dylan was covering an already established song. But he wrote this! I assume it was a parody of sorts from the time. Following more with Untold Dylan – ‘There is nothing here but the guys passing the time of day, but it’s good that they captured what they did and how they did it.  Like having a chance to watch a great actor in early rehearsals, this is a most valuable artefact’.

1. “I’m your teenage prayer”. What are Bob Dylan and the guys playing at? – Untold Dylan

“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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Posted in Music
12 comments on “I’m Your Teenage Prayer (1967) – Bob Dylan
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    I love the looseness he had with this album…well they all had.

  2. Matt, I enjoyed this very much!

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