Writings about Music

Melody of Words

for Bob Dylan

 

If not for you

Its been a hard days night

If not for you

Mr. Fantasy

If not for you

All along the watchtower

If hot for you

Bad girls

If not for you

Winter would have no Spring

If not for you

Woke up this morning had them statesboro blues

Take the A train

If not for you

She's got a ticket to ride

If not for you

All the lonely people

If not for you

That’s all I want to say

If not for you

Would you promise to be true

If not for you

These are words

If not for you

Black bird singin

If not for you

Sign on the window says lonely

If not for you

Babe I'm gonna leave you

If not for you

So happy just to be alive underneath this sky of blue

If not for you

Maybe in some Isle of Isles

If not for you

In the South Seas azure miles

If not for you

Among what rushes will they build

If not for you

And evenings full of the linnet's wings

If not for you

The moon and the night lily unite in love

If not for you

Take me disappearin through

If not for you

A love can be had

A love SUPREME

If not for you

This must be the day

If not for you

That all my dreams come true

If not for you

This is the end my only friend

If not for you

The end

IF not for you

Time passes slowly

If not for you

Into this world we’re thrown

If not for you

Girl we couldn’t get much higha

If not for you

Deep down inside honey you

If not for you

And noon a purple glow

If not for you

Don’t know if its up or down

If not for you

I will arise and go now

If not for you

The flames they followed Joan of Arc

If not for you

Please allow me to introduce myself

If not for you

Freedom rider

If not for you

Im not gonna let them find the midnite rida

If not for you

Take me disappearin

If not for you

How does it feel

If not for you

Now it looks as though its here to stay

If not for you

Surely we must be learnin

If not for you

Father of day father of night

If not for you

Night and day day and night

If not for you

My china grill

MY china girl

If not for you

Some girls

If not for you

Take sunset to the sea

Riders on the storms comin

If not for you

Brown suga

If not for you

The night passed so quickly

If not for you

Who finished the milk

If not for you

I forgot the combination

If not for you

The Sicilian defense

If not for you

No direction home

If not for you

Ring them bells

If not for you

For the times that flies

If not for you

For the child that cries

Cause her momma has a different name for the color of the wind

If not for you

How does it feel

IF not for you

Now it looks as though its here to stay

If not for you

Surely we must be learnin

If not for you

I’ll never hear the bells if you leave me

If not for you

Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf

If not for you

For all of us who are left

If not for you

When my girls she’s kissin me

Up on the roof

If not for you

Shes got a ticket to ride

If not for you

I hear the bells a ringin in my ears

If not for you

Do you love me?

IF not for you

Id go insane

If not for you

I’d never hear the bells again

IF not for you

All along the watch tower

If not for you

In the sunshine of your love

If not for you

Don’t you worry bout a thing

If not for you

All is fair in lov

If not for you

The time is right for dancing in the street

If not for you

There will be music playin

If not for you

Wine comes in through the mouth

If not for you

And love comes in through the eye

IF not for you

Don’t forget the motor city

If not for you

For the time that flies

If not for you

Times passes slowly up here in the mountains

If not for you

I’m so glad, I’m so glad, I’m glad I’m glad I’m glad

If not for you

That’s all we shall know for truth

If not for you

Before we grow young and live forever

If not for you

Oh, desire

If not for you

Baby lite my fire

If not for you

You made my heart feel so free

If not for you

Baby you NEED me

If not for you

Oh, my desiree

Michelle my bell

All the lonely people

IF not for you

I don’t like you but I love you

If not for you

Seems like I’m also thinking of you

If not for you

You really gotta hold on me

If not for you

We’re gonna go walkin through the PARK everyday

People think Im CRAZY

If not for you

Not for you this shadow of dreams

Drippin pearls into the ocean of raga

Is but a drop of a grain of sand

Babe you know I never leave you

If not for you

I’m gonna leave you in the summer time

And the livin is easy

Easy to love

You’d be so nice to come home to

IF not for you

There is a rose in Spanish Harlem

If not for you

There’s some Tahitian girls that are dyin to meet me

I’ll trade their numba for my black hat with dried white flowers

IF not for you

I’ve got to get away

If not for you

I really got to ramble

If not for you

It’s when its callin me

If not for you

Back home

If not for you

Then you know you have entered the garden of Red Pine

If not for you

The green-eyed immortal with auburn hair

If not for you

Cold as the March wind my eyes

If not for you

Oh Jamie Mack when are you comin back?

If not for you

This girl keeps comin ‘round

If not for you

She’s be dragging on my time

If not for you

She’s been foolin on my mind

IF not for you

That was the best pastrami sandwich I ever had

If not for you

She paid $1.79 for two mango smoothies

If not for you

I sang for the surveillance camera

If not for you

Mr Tambourine Man

If not for you

The man in the long black coat

If not for you

If your travelin to Carmel

If not for you

Pale Rider

If not for you

The jewel treasure of the ocean

If not for you

Shes from Russia without love

IF not for you

Shes from Australia without love

If not for you

Let it Be

If not for you

My, Me, Mine

If not for you

A night in Tunisia

IF not for you

You must remember this

If not for you

A kiss is just a kiss

If not for you

Her lips soft as a lavender rose in the cool morning dew

IF not for you

With the sun shinin efulgant

If not for you

If not for you

IF not for you

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

He’s a real nowhere man

If not for you

She and she and she a parta me

If not for you

I MISS YOU

If not for you

COME on

Come ON

If not for you

Bird of Paradise

If not for you

I open the door

Snow covers the hills

For miles

If not for you

I’m just getting started

 

© 2007 Michael Robinson All rights reserved

 

This is roughly the first half of an extended poem in tribute to Bob Dylan, using something like his style of speak, using the title of his song, "If Not For You," as a tanpura, including myriad references to other Dylan songs, the Beatles, and other music artists and songs I love. It was decided not to include the second half of the poem, which heads in a somewhat different direction.

"Melody of Words" was written in January 2007, and was online for a year or so. Revisiting "Melody of Words," it now seems a unique tribute to Dylan and many of his contemporaries worthy of being included among my Writings About Music. The original posting had the text presented in multiple colors, but here only black print is used making reading much easier, as one colleague originally suggested. Please note that what may appear to be spelling and punctuation errors in the text of the poem are intentional.

- Michael Robinson, April 2020, Los Angeles

 

Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).