When I Paint My Masterpiece

Bob Dylan

About When I Paint My Masterpiece

"When I Paint My Masterpiece" is a 1971 song written by Bob Dylan. It was first released by The Band, who recorded the song for their album Cahoots which was released on September 15, 1971. Dylan himself recorded the song at New York's Blue Rock Studio when he was backed by Leon Russell and session musicians, including Jesse Ed Davis on lead guitar. The recording sessions lasted from March 16 to 19, 1971, and also saw the recording of the 45 RPM single "Watching the River Flow", released by CBS Records on June 3, 1971. Both songs appeared on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II, released November 17, 1971, with Russell credited as the producer of the two songs. During the March 1971 sessions at Blue Rock Studio, Dylan also recorded a solo version with slightly different lyrics, accompanying himself on piano. This version was released in 2013 on The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969–1971). Dylan and The Band performed the song together live, in the early hours of January 1, 1972, at a New Year's Eve concert by The Band; a recording was released as a bonus track on the 2001 CD reissue of The Band's live album Rock of Ages. 


Year:
2013
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Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
Ancient footprints are everywhere
You can almost think that you're seein' double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs

Got to hurry on back to my hotel room
Where I've got me a date with Botticelli's niece
She promised that she'd be right there with me
When I paint my masterpiece

Oh, the hours I've spent inside the Coliseum
Dodging lions and wastin' time
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly stand to see 'em
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb

Train wheels runnin' through the back of my memory
As the daylight hours do retreat
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece

I left Rome and landed in Brussels
With a picture of a tall oak tree by my side
Clergymen in uniform and young girls pullin' muscles
Everyone was there but nobody tried to hide

Newspapermen eating candy
Had to be held down by big police
Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent
When I paint my masterpiece

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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

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