Discover the North Country songbook and the story behind each track, either in the order Bob Dylan wrote them, or as they are featured in our show.


Girl From The North Country

from the album Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Fun Fact: First recorded this song to be on FreeWheelin' Bob Dylan, but then recorded it with Johnny Cash for “Nashville Skyline”.


My Back Pages

from the album Another Side of Bob Dylan

Fun Fact: This song was covered by The Byrds, The Hollies, The Nice, The Ramones, Keith Jarrett, Steve Earle, and Murray Head


Like a Rolling Stone

from the album Highway 61 Revisited

"[It was] just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred,” he said, “directed at some point that was honest.”

- Bob Dylan

“And she sings, ‘How does it feel?’ It’s a moment where time stops, and this one character speaks for the whole group.”

- Mare Winningham on when her character sings "Like a Rolling Stone"

Ballad of a Thin Man

from the album Highway 61 Revisited

Fun Fact: Bob Dylan was inspired by the 1934 film “The Thin Man” starring Willaim Powell and Myrna Loy and was directed by W.S. Van Dyke (This movie was released the same year Girl From The North Country takes place)


I Want You

from the album Blonde on Blonde

“It’s just a great love song. The chorus is so simple – 'I want you so bad’ – but the verses are typical Bob Dylan. What is he singing about? It’s almost impossible to know. It’s great how he slips away from you, you think you understand this but really you’ve got to work harder.”

- Conor McPherson

Fun Fact: “I Want You” was recorded on March 10, 1966 between 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

“It’s not just pretty words to a tune or putting tunes to words… [It’s] the words and the music [together]—I can hear the sound of what I want to say.”

- Bob Dylan

All Along the Watch­tower

from the album John Wesley Harding

Fun Fact: Dylan first performed this song live on January 3, 1974, in Chicago Stadium for the opening night of his comeback tour. Since then he has performed this song more than 2,260 times.


Lay Lady Lay

from the album Nashville Skyline

Fun Fact: Mike Bloomfield, who Rolling Stone named one of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all time, played guitar on this track.

“The guy that I always miss, and I think he’d still be around if he stayed with me, actually, was Mike Bloomfield,” he said. “He could just flat-out play. He had so much soul. And he knew all the styles, and he could play them so incredibly well.”

- Bob Dylan on guitarist Mike Bloomfield

Went to See the Gypsy

from the album New Morning

"The first two songs are from Dylan’s 1970 album New Morning. He was writing songs at that time for a play by Archie Macleish. The play happened but they didn’t use Bob’s songs, so we’re picking them up instead.”

- Conor McPherson

Sign on the Window

from the album New Morning


You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere

from the album Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume II


Forever Young

from the album Planet Waves

“I wrote (it)… thinking about one of my boys and not wanting to be too sentimental. The lines came to me, they were done in a minute... the song wrote itself.”

- Bob Dylan

Idiot Wind

from the album Blood on the Tracks



from the album Desire

“In my mind’s eye, the footlights at the edge of stage pop on, and I’m looking out at you guys: This is what happened to me, what happened to the Hurricane, and it’s happening in your city.”

- Conor McPherson

“The first time I saw him, I left knowing one thing... I realized that the man’s philosophy and my philosophy were running down the same road, and you don’t meet too many people like that.”

- Bob Dylan

Is Your Love Vain

from the album Street-Legal

Fun Fact: Dylan performed “Is Your Love In Vein” onstage for the first time on February 28, 1978, in Tokyo, two months before it was recorded


Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)

from the album Street-Legal

Fun Fact: Dylan explained that he considered this song to be “The aftermath of when two people who were leaning on each other because neither one of them had the guts to stand up alone, all of a sudden they break apart”


True Love Tends to Forget

from the album Street-Legal

Fun Fact: Dylan has only performed this song during the 1978 tour.


Slow Train Coming

from the album Slow Train Coming

“It’s saying, if you live right, I promise there is salvation coming, something that is going to be better. But the emphasis is on the ‘slow.’ A ‘slow train’ doesn’t mean I can see the lights on the track. It could be five, 10, 15 years from now, but it’s coming.”

- Conor McPherson


from the album Infidels

Fun Fact: The music video for “Jokerman” was directed by George Lois and won an MTV Award for Best Music Video in 1983.

“This is a very mysterious song from Infidels. I’m not really sure what it’s about; a lot of his songs seem to be about God and I think this one might be too. He’s talking in a language that’s working deep beneath the surface. By the time we get to the end of the show his songs have done a tremendous amount of the emotional work, and we give Bob all the space he needs to do it.”

- Conor McPherson

Sweet­heart Like You

from the album Infidels

"We mix this with the song called “True Love Tends to Forget” from Street Legal. It’s got a great groove. Bob’s songwriting changed through the 1970s and early ‘80s, and in certain songs an RnB flavor creeps in. We love the movement from phase to phase through songs like this; it’s a great joy for me."

- Conor McPherson

License to Kill

from the album Infidels

Fun Fact: License to Kill was recorded in one take in 1983


Tight Connect­ion to My Heart

from the album Empire Burlesque

“We found that the more the songs had nothing to do with what was happening, the better they fit. All his songs have to do with something universal.”

- Conor McPherson

Lay Down Your Weary Tune

from the album Biograph

Fun Fact: This song finds its origins in a Scottish Ballad


To Make You Feel My Love

from the album Time Out of Mind

Fun Fact: More than 450 artists have recorded this song, from Billy Joel to Garth Brooks to Adele.


Duquesne Whistle

from the album Tempest

Fun Fact: This is Dylan’s only co-authored title on Tempest, written with lyricist Robert Hunter.


Blind Willie McTell

from the album The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991