All I really want to do – Bob Dylan

What a chat up line. Bob was one for the ladies back in those days. This was so full of fun.

It was quite a simple poem – full of rhyming words – but the choice of those words was revealing. Behind the frivolity was a very revealing attitude to relationships. They were potentially abusive, using or destructive. He was saying that he did not have an agenda other than to just be friends. It was a song with meaning. There hadn’t been anything like it before in pop music.

“All I Really Want To Do”

I ain’t lookin’ to compete with you
Beat or cheat or mistreat you
Simplify you, classify you
Deny, defy or crucify you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

No, and I ain’t lookin’ to fight with you
Frighten you or tighten you
Drag you down or drain you down
Chain you down or bring you down
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I ain’t lookin’ to block you up
Shock or knock or lock you up
Analyze you, categorize you
Finalize you or advertise you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I don’t want to straight-face you
Race or chase you, track or trace you
Or disgrace you or displace you
Or define you or confine you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I don’t want to meet your kin
Make you spin or do you in
Or select you or dissect you
Or inspect you or reject you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

I don’t want to fake you out
Take or shake or forsake you out
I ain’t lookin’ for you to feel like me
See like me or be like me
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.

9 thoughts on “All I really want to do – Bob Dylan

  1. It might be a fair assumption to connect this to the sly wit of Hank Williams, with a touch of Jimmie Rodgers thrown in for good measure.

    The “baby” is a metaphor for the political and social scene and not, I’m afraid to say anything to do with relationships with the fairer sex. Although at face value it’s understandable how that belief maybe arrived at.
    It was a countenance to yearning for a fairer society that didn’t behave so cruelly and with such severe harshness.

      1. Another? About as much as Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” is about a nice day out in the park with his girlfriend. If you get my drift?

      2. Well I certainly get your drift. It’s great to consider the many dimensions and interpretations of poems. Dylan was better at that than Lou but Lou certainly produced some good ones too.

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