Bob Dylan – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door


Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, the song that has been covered by so many, and ruined by, again, so many. In my opinion anyway. I’ve been a massive fan of the Bob Dylan version since I first heard it and, to be honest, think every other version should go to hell and burn in a fiery cesspool of their own shit-ness… But that’s just me…

Where do I begin? In its simple guitar rhythm, the ever so relaxed “ooo-oooh” or the light drum? Let’s go with the lyrics.

The lyrics are of the words of a man, that, after so much time spent fighting for something, has decided to give up. I don’t know what he was fighting for. I don’t know why he’s given up. What I do know, is that he knows he can’t win, and instead of going down fighting, he’s going to embrace defeat and end it the easy way. He is, essentially, the third brother, from The Tale Of The Three Brothers.

So, hang on a sec, we’ve got a modern-ancient-tale, told through the medium of song, a LONG time ago? What were the chances of that?

And the way it’s sang… You can tell he means those words. You can tell he cannot express this any better than he already is, and that the emotion he’s feeling is genuine, as if it’s actually happening to him. It’s like he’s just found out he’s about to die, and instead of kicking up a fuss about it, he’s just accepting it. You know, the second I find out I’m going to die from whatever illness I’m gonna die from, I’m gonna sing this song as passionately and with as much emotion as he is, because that’s exactly how it feels. It’s a passionate song for an emotion filled time and I can’t think of a better time to sing it…

So, what ARE my favourite lyrics?

“Momma, put my guns in the ground,
I can’t shoot them, any more.
That long, black cloud is, coming down,
I feel I’m Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”

Yeah, verse two. Dunno why. Maybe because it’s more of a surrender, to me, than the other verse. I’m not sure really. We’ll see, eventually, I hope.

The guitar is very simple and, to me, is more casual, than essential. Make it a capella, and I guarantee it’d work brilliantly. Have a few people, about the same height, all singing in time, to this song, and I guarantee it’d work brilliantly. Heck, if we get three people who can sort of sing, I’ll do it with them…

So, yeah, simple guitar. Strum. Strum. Strum. Strum-um-um-um-um. Strum. Strum. Strum. Strum-um-um-um-um. Repeat. Simple. Efficient. Whilst some may call it cheap or tacky, I call it inspired. I find it to be a great use of guitar and a greater use of timing. Mix it with the drums and you have a backing that’ll keep you humming for hours.

So, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. What score would I give it? I can’t say it’s perfect. It’s too short, for me. Add another verse, maybe two, and it’d be great, but they’ve got to be sang like this. They can’t be fucked with. Oh no… So, score?

9/10

That Guy

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