Lifted from ‘Tell Tale Signs’, a three-disc collection of demos and alternate versions of Dylan tunes from 1989 -2006, this is a different version of ‘Mississippi’, which appeared on Love & Theft, released around 2001.
The last 20 years has been a really strong period for Dylan, particularly the albums ‘Oh Mercy’, ‘Time Out of Mind’, ‘Love & Theft’ and ‘Modern Times’. All are amongst his best work. This is just a beautiful morning song, light of touch but heavy(ish) on subject matter. One of my all-time favourite Dylan songs, and this may be the best version. In this form, it was recorded for 1997’s Time Out of Mind, but left off as Dylan wasn’t quite happy with it. Another version finally appeared on ‘Love & Theft in 2001.
It kind of reminds me of travelling and really makes me want to head out into the Southern States, drinking and carousing and generally living the Beat lifestyle. If all goes wrong, at least doing that would be something worth lookin’ forward to. Love the lines – “Only one thing I did wrong, Stayed in Mississippi a day too long.”