Happy 70th Birthday Bob Dylan! (and my Top 10 Dylan Songs)

Bob Dylan

Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan!

Ah, you were so much older then, you’re younger than that now… and may you stay forever young no matter how much the times, they are a’changin’, you rolling stone you!

Man, can you believe the Bob is 70???

I sure can’t… mostly because my main association with him is through his music, and that’s mostly timeless, never aging, so the icon seems that way to me.

For Bob’s 70th, Rolling Stone magazine did a huge number of features this month on him:

Me, I did a meme tribute on Facebook to share one of my favourite Top 10 Bob Dylan songs each day leading to his birthday today. Here is my list, which was generally presented in no particular order except for the last two being my favourite two Dylan songs. It gets too hard to separate the order of the others for me.

Continue reading

Earth Day Goal 2010 Achieved, What to Pledge for 2011?

Happy Earth Day to you,
Happy Earth Day to you,
Happy Earth Day dear reader,
Happy Earth Day to you!

What are you going to do,
To keep sea and sky blue,
To reduce your C-O-2,
To be green the year through?

HAPPY EARTH DAY, EVERYBODY!

On Earth Day 2010, I pledged to eat “better” as my Earth Day goal for the year from that day.By “better”, I meant more local and more unprocessed foods, though I didn’t start out defining them that way, nor for the green reasons of food miles. Once I researched more and came to conclude food miles was a myth, though, I ate better for the economy and for my health. I’m sure it still has an environmental impact because I didn’t end up eating food grown in green houses here in the Canadian winter, that would have used up tonnes of excessive energy, but without being able to measure it, I couldn’t claim it for certain. One thing I am more certain, though, is that it saved me money not to be eating out so much as before given I don’t eat processed foods like frozen dinners that tend to be on the cheaper side, though I did eat more fast food than I should have.

Continue reading

Guitar and Ukulele Tabs for I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan)

One measure of the popularity of a song over time, and not just on the charts at a given time, is the number of covers it has. Well, there’s no shortage for Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released!

Bob Dylan

With every cover, there’s a little variation on it from the others and from the original. However, for this song, most only differed slightly in the notes sang and tempo. There’s no big rearrangement involved. My tabbed version is no different, with only a high D to emphasize a few important points in the lyrics. It is noted among the notes that come with the tabs.

I Shall Be Released (in C), Bob Dylan Guitar Tabs Letter Sized PDF
I Shall Be Released (in C), Bob Dylan Guitar Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

I Shall Be Released (in G), Bob Dylan Guitar Tabs Letter Sized PDF
I Shall Be Released (in G), Bob Dylan Guitar Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

I Shall Be Released (in F), Bob Dylan Ukulele Tabs Letter Sized PDF
I Shall Be Released (in F), Bob Dylan Ukulele Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

I Shall Be Released (in G), Bob Dylan Ukulele Tabs Letter Sized PDF
I Shall Be Released (in G), Bob Dylan Ukulele Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

These tabs all fit on one page to avoid the inconvenience of page turns. However, the letter size tabs (8.5″ x 11″) may be too small for your eyes. If so, you can either enlarge to tabloid size (11″ x 17″) using an automatic enlarge feature on many photocopiers, or download the tabloid sized versions for printing. The tabloid size tabs can be inserted into a typical letter sized binder on the 11″ size, and folded almost in half to fit. You just open each tab to use it.

The chord sequence is fairly easy with G, Am, Bm and back down again with Am and G. Then a D7 separates the next phrase, and it cycles all over again throughout the entire song. You need to Capo 2 this to get it in the key of A that Bob originally wrote it in. I took the chords off The Definitive Bob Dylan Songbook.

If you have trouble playing the Bm on guitar like I do, you might try the version in C, capoing as you need to get it in your voice range. That uses C, Dm, Em and G7. These are a lot easier than that Bm, in my opinion.

The ukulele challenge is also with that Bm, but I tabbed an alternate version in F because the Em (like in the guitar alternate version), is almost like that Bm on guitar, which was what I was trying to avoid. The version in F on the ukulele uses F, Gm, Am and C7, which I find all fairly easy chords to play.

As for trying to find a video close to my tabbed version, the one below from a concert in 1976 matched it best, though not exactly. This was some concert, featuring Bob and an all-star cast like Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr and many other famous musicians! It should serve as a good guide to figuring out the tabs.

The good thing about a “solid” song like this, though, is that the chords are pretty robust to any little variation you might want to put in the melody to “make it your own”. So you don’t have to follow the notes I have. Just sing it the way it feels to you for notes and it will work.

Rhythm is another story, though!  The trickiest part to this song is adjusting from phrase to phrase of when you start in. For some phrases, you strum the opening chord (like G) on the first word. For many phrases, you start in while still on the 7th chord that separates the phrases. Then for the rest, you actually strum that opening chord before you start singing, like with the opening line to the chorus. Figuring out the adjustments from line to line is the hardest part, by far, as far as I’m concerned, to learning this song.

But it just wouldn’t be Bob if it were otherwise! 🙂

Please click here for guitar and ukulele tabs and chords to other songs on this blog.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.7

If I Could Have One Super Power…

This is a common question asked for the fun of things, to test out people, and so on. Unfortunately, it has way too many common answers as well. Some want to fly. Some want to be super strong. Some want to be fast. Some want to have X-ray vision, though I’ve always thought an obligatory why should be asked with such an answer.

I’ve never thought much about this question over the years because I have always wanted to fly. However, after 30+ years of living and some insight into the world, I believe I have my answer for life, and it’s a one word answer.

I want to have the power to redistribute.

That’s a pretty weird answer, I must say. Don’t ever try that in a bar if you ever hope to pick up or get picked up by anyone normal, even if they’re not drunk, or drunk. However, think about this.

If I could have the power to redistribute, I could manipulate matter in any way I’d like by redistributing their molecular, atomic, sub-atomic, elementary particles. I’d make that powerful villain in the X-men movies, Magneto, who could manipulate metal, look inadequate. By the way, the X-men Origins movie of Magneto may be coming out in 2012.

But more than the ability to manipulate matter, the ability to redistribute is powerful, and insightful, to me because one of the things I have observed in life so far is that there is more than enough of everything good to go around. It’s just not distributed right. There’s more than enough money for everybody. There’s more than enough food and water for everybody. There’s more than enough happiness for everybody, well, if you give sufficient quantity to those who deserve it. It’s just poorly distributed.

To have the power of redistribution would correct all that. I’d be able to spread the money around, the happiness around, the food and water around. I’d also be able to disperse the pains, the sadness, and other such intangibles. Being able to manipulate matter means I could also redistribute excess water, rocks, pollution and all.

And it’s just as simple as having the power to redistribute!

Now, what would I call myself? Redistribution Man? Hahaha!

Of course, every super hero would have to have a critical weakness. Well, Redistribution Man would be prone to time. With power comes responsibility, and with that much power, unfortunately, one would never have enough time to put the power to full potential usage.

Ah, a hero with a tragedy. Or many tragedies. Just the way I like it.

So what super power would you choose if you could have one?

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.1

Share/Bookmark

If You’re Canadian, Please – Watch This Video!

Canadian Please videoThere’s this really great video online called Canadian, Please that breathes Canadian patriotism, humour, groove, Canadiana… and it has just 418,000 views in 2.5 months as of this posting??? Compare that to United Breaks Guitars by my local Nova Scotian and former songwriting teacher, Dave Carroll, which has 5.4 million hits starting 2 weeks later… out of just 10 weeks ago!

By the looks of the 8,600+ comments for Canadian, Please, a lot of those who watched it and loved it weren’t even Canadian!

Come on, Canada! Give it a click and spread the word about all those lovely things about this great country of ours! There are over 30 million of us. Surely we could get it 30 million hits!

Or are we really all that apathetic and couldn’t care less like the world says we are? Which, interestingly enough, is one of our endearing qualities compared to certain opinionated other countries. 🙂

p.s. They forgot to mention the main and most challenging step for how to live in this great country of ours, which is navigating the incompetent federal immigration system. If our immigration system were a man, you couldn’t give him enough Viagra and Cialis to make him functional! Hmmm. I think there’s a song in there…

Share/Save/Bookmark

Song & video produced by Julia Bentley & Andrew Gunadie

.

LYRICS

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

Even if in winter things tend to freeze

We’ve got the world monopoly on trees

And our country’s bordered by three different seas

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

We invented the zipper, we’ve got expertise

We made insulin to combat disease

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

CHORUS

Brits have got the monarchy

The US has the money

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The French have got the wine and cheese

Koalas chill with the Aussies

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

Et si ce n’était pas assez

On a deux langues officielles:

L’anglais et le français

Ooh la la

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

Where else do you find mounted police

Or go to the hospital and not pay fees

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

And when freshwater is in high demand

We’ve got the world’s largest supply on hand

So you know that we could make a pretty good friend

But it’s even better if you can be…

CHORUS

Brits have got the monarchy

The US has the money

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The French have got the wine and cheese

Koalas chill with the Aussies

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

Et si ce n’était pas assez

On a deux langues officielles:

L’anglais et le français

Ooh la la

So you’re thinking to yourself,

“How do I live in this beautiful country?”

Well we’ve got some steps for you to follow…

STEP 1: Lose the gun

STEP 2: Buy a canoe

STEP 3: Live multiculturally

STEP 4: You’re ready, there is no more!

We got beavers, caribou and moose

We got buffalos, bears, and Canadian goose

And we’re sorry about Celine Dion

But she did do that good song for James Cameron…

CHORUS

Brits have got the monarchy

The US has the money

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The French have got the wine and cheese

Koalas chill with the Aussies

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The Greek chilled out with Socrates

Can’t build a wall like the Chinese

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

In Kenya they have safaris

We’ve missed lots of other countries

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

Share/Save/Bookmark