You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

The Band, Bob Dylan

About You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1967 in Woodstock, New York, during the self-imposed exile from public appearances that followed his July 29, 1966 motorcycle accident. A recording of Dylan performing the song in September 1971 was released on the Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II album in November of that year, marking the first official release of the song by its author. Earlier 1967 recordings of the song, performed by Dylan and the Band, were issued on the 1975 album The Basement Tapes and the 2014 album The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete. The Byrds recorded a version of the song in 1968 and issued it as a single. This was the first commercial release of the song, predating Dylan's own release by three years. A later cover by ex-Byrds members Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman reached the top 10 of the Hot Country Songs charts in 1989. "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" has also been covered by many other artists, including Joan Baez, Unit 4 + 2, and Glen Hansard with Markéta Irglová. 


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Clouds so swift
Rain won't lift
Gate won't close
Railings froze
Get your mind off wintertime
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair

I don't care how many letters they sent
Morning came and morning went
Pick up your money
And pack up your tent
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair

Buy me a flute
And a gun that shoots
Tailgates and substitutes
Strap yourself to the tree with roots
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair

Genghis Khan
He could not keep
All his kings
Supplied with sleep
We'll climb that hill, no matter how steep
When we come up to it
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair

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The Band

The Band were a Canadian-American roots rock group that originally consisted of Rick Danko (bass guitar, double bass, fiddle, trombone, vocals), Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboard instruments, saxophones, trumpet), Richard Manuel (piano, drums, baritone saxophone, vocals) and Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals). The members of the Band first came together as they joined rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins's backing group, The Hawks, one by one between 1958 and 1963. more »

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Written by: Bob Dylan

Lyrics © DistroKid, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

6 facts about this song

About the Artists
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is a song by American music legend Bob Dylan. It has been covered by numerous artists, including The Band and The Byrds, and each version highlights a unique interpretation of the song. - Bob Dylan is a Nobel Prize winner for Literature, mainly due to his influential songwriting that has shaped the course of popular music since the 1960s. - The Band is known for their distinctive sound that drew on a mixture of American genres. They were behind notable hits like "The Weight" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." - The Byrds were pioneers of folk-rock and country-rock, with their cover of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" laying the groundwork for these styles.
Track's Origin
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" was originally written by Bob Dylan in 1967 during his recuperation from a motorcycle accident.
Album Appearance
The song initially surfaced on Dylan’s 1971 album "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II". However, the first earlier recording appeared on the 1975 album "The Basement Tapes", a collection of songs Dylan recorded with The Band while in upstate New York in 1967. - The Byrds' cover version was featured on their 1968 album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", a landmark album in the country-rock genre.
Notable Covers
The Byrds' version is considered a classic. Although they changed some of the lyrics, their take on the song remains one of the most memorable. - The Band also covered "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" for their 1973 album "Moondog Matinee". Their version stays closer to Dylan's original than The Byrds' version.
Lyrics and Interpretation
The song's lyrics have been the subject of various interpretations over the years due to their abstract nature. Some suggest they reflect Dylan's frustration during his prolonged period of seclusion following his motorcycle accident.
Live Performance
Bob Dylan continues performing the song in his concerts, and each time he varies the lyrics slightly, adding to the song's mystique and allure.

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