Like a Rolling Stone

Composer: Bob Dylan       Original performer: Bob Dylan (1965)
First release: Stripped, November 1995
Recording date: July 1995        Recording location: Brixton Academy, London, England (live)
Producers: Don Was & The Glimmer Twins       Chief engineers: Ed Cherney & Chris Kimsey
Performed onstage: 1995, 1997-99, 2002-03, 2014, 2016-17


Line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Darryl Jones
Electric guitars: Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Keith Richards, Darryl Jones, Chuck Leavell, Bernard Fowler & Lisa Fischer
Organ: Chuck Leavell
Harmonica: Mick Jagger
 

Yeah

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
Yeah, people'd call, say Beware doll, you're bound to fall
They thought they were just kidding you

You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
And now you don't walk so proud
Now you don't talk so loud
About having to scrounging your next meal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Just like a rolling stone?

Come on

Yeah

You went to the finest schools all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
Nobody taught you how to live out on the street
But now you're going to have to get used to it

You say you never compromise
With the mystery tramp but now you realize
That he's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And he say Do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Just like a rolling stone?

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Just like a rolling stone?

Yeah, the princess on the steeple, all the pretty people
Drink and think that they've got it made
Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts
You better take that diamond ring, you better pawn it, babe

You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags with the language that he used
Now, go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Just like a rolling stone?

Come on


 

TrackTalk

It's a fantastic song. I did it once at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1988). Bob Dylan was being inducted, and Paul Shaffer, during the jam, struck up the intro. But nobody was singing it. Bob never came up to the microphone. Finally me and Bruce (Springsteen) did it. Keith and I used to do it (years ago). I said to him, You used to play it in such-and-such tuning. I always boss him around (grins), tell him what to do.

- Mick Jagger, May 1995


I think Like a Rolling Stone was unusual to do. We've never done a Dylan song before...(M)elodically I quite like it. It's very well put together; it's got a proper three sections to it, real good choruses and a good middle bit, and great lyrics. It's a really well-constructed pop song, in my opinion... (I)'ts very much to the point, it doesn't waffle too much. I sang it a lot of times on the European tour - maybe 50 times. So I really got inside it, and I enjoyed it. I love playing the harmonica on it.

- Mick Jagger, October 1995


We got over the built-in reticence. If he had written Like a Beatles, we probably would have done it straight away. We've been playing that song ever since Bob brought it out; it was like a dressing room favourite, a tuning room favourite. We know it really well. It was just a matter of screwing up the courage, really, to get over the feeling like we were riding on its back. We also realized that, hey, we took our name from a Muddy Waters album, a Muddy Waters song. Suddenly it didn't feel awkward to pay it.

- Keith Richards, October 1995


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