Like a Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan

About Like a Rolling Stone

"Like a Rolling Stone" is a 1965 song by the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Its confrontational lyrics originated in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. Dylan distilled this draft into four verses and a chorus. "Like a Rolling Stone" was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited. During a difficult two-day preproduction, Dylan struggled to find the essence of the song, which was demoed without success in 34 time. A breakthrough was made when it was tried in a rock music format, and rookie session musician Al Kooper improvised the organ riff for which the track is known. However, Columbia Records was unhappy with both the song's length at over six minutes and its heavy electric sound, and was hesitant to release it. It was only when a month later a copy was leaked to a new popular music club and heard by influential DJs that the song was put out as a single. Although radio stations were reluctant to play such a long track, "Like a Rolling Stone" reached No. 2 in the US Billboard charts (No. 1 in Cashbox) and became a worldwide hit. 


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Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People call say "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kidding you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ah, you've gone to the finest schools, alright Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street
And now you're gonna have to get used to it
You say you never compromise
With the mystery trend, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And 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, like a rolling stone

Ah, you never turned around to see the frowns
On the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discovered that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal  

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To have on your own, with no direction home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ah, princess on a steeple and all the pretty people
They're all drinking, thinking that they've got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you better take your diamond ring, you better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel, ah, how does it feel?
To be on your own, with no direction home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

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Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan ( /ˈdɪlən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, poet and artist. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" has been described as radically altering the parameters of popular music in … more »

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Written by: Bob Dylan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

4 facts about this song

Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan
1. Iconic Song: "Like a Rolling Stone" is considered one of the most influential songs in the history of rock music, known for its revolutionary sound and powerful lyrics. 2. Popular Recognition: It was named the greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004 and 2011. 3. Innovative Lyrics: It stands out for being a top-rated single that contains numerous verses without repeating the chorus. 4. Release Date: The song was released by Bob Dylan in July 1965 on his album "Highway 61 Revisited". 5. Song Length: With a length of six minutes, this song was unusually long in an era where most hits were three minutes or less.
Like a Rolling Stone" by Jimi Hendrix
1. High-Profile Representation: Hendrix frequently included "Like a Rolling Stone" in his live performances. 2. Notable Show: His most significant performance of the song was at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. 3. Special Interpretation: Hendrix's version was celebrated for its improvisational guitar solos which offered a different interpretation of the song. 4. Dylan's Approval: Bob Dylan was so impressed by Hendrix's version of "Like a Rolling Stone" that he occasionally performed the song using Hendrix's arrangement.
Like a Rolling Stone" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
1. Collaboration: The Jimi Hendrix Experience's version of "Like a Rolling Stone" was a collaborative effort between Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell. 2. Live Recordings: Various live recordings of the song have been released after Hendrix's death, all demonstrating the band's dynamic performance and Hendrix's exceptional guitar work.
The Rolling Stones
1. Name Inspiration: Though they have no direct connection to the song "Like A Rolling Stone", The Rolling Stones took their name from a Muddy Waters song called "Rolling Stone". 2. Brief Crossover: Coincidentally, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan both performed at the British TV show named Top of the Pops, in 1965, and the Rolling stones performed the song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" a week after Dylan introduced "Like a Rolling Stone" to the world. 3. Different Genre: Though both influential in the rock music landscape, the Rolling Stones are known for their long-standing influence in blues-oriented rock, contrasting Dylan's folk-rock sound. 4. Musical Respect: They expressed their admiration for Dylan's work repeatedly. Their lead vocalist Mick Jagger named "Like a Rolling Stone" as one of his favorite Dylan songs.

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    Like a Rolling Stone

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    Top Hot 100 Songs 1965

    Billboard #2



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