“Tombstone Blues” (1965)

In Who Is That Man, David Dalton says of  “Tombstone Blues” it “is old-fashioned Buck Owens country rock (overlaid with Chicago blues guitar leads) that chimes perfectly with the mock hillbilly yarn.”   I think Scorcese captured that well in the scene this song appears in No Direction Home where the young, black Dylan sings it porch-side.   The rhyming word “Shoes” filters its way six times through this song, as part of the chorus.  But shoes are not really there–Mama ain’t got none:

Mama’s in the fact’ry
She ain’t got no shoes
Daddy’s in the alley
He’s lookin’ for the fuse (Dylan sings “food” )
I’m in the streets (Dylan sings “kitchen”)
With the tombstone blues

Dylan wrote “fuse” but sings “food” but either way with “shoes” and “blues” the rhyme supports the “mock-hillbilly yarn” of it all .  Catchy as all get-out, it’s hard to get this chorus out of your head once you hear it.

Here’s an audio of it from 1965 at the Newport Folk Festival:

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