Bob Dylan’s newest concert tour kicked off yesterday in the Emerald Isle. The set list from his show in County Cork isn’t a violent departure from recent tours, but features one song that is not heard all that often: “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine,” from the album John Wesley Harding. Curiously enough, the last time he played it was apparently in Dublin, Ireland, in 2005 (according to His Bobness Info).
There are no live versions by Bob extant on YouTube, but I did just listen to this cover version by a duo calling themselves “Two Travellers at Midnight” that I think is rather nice indeed. Nothing radical, but they’re feeling it.
It’s a remarkable song.
I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive as you or me
Tearing through these quarters
In the utmost misery
With a blanket underneath his arm
And a coat of solid gold
Searching for the very souls
Whom already have been sold
Addendum: I neglected to note that because there was no “Blowin’ in the Wind” or “Times They Are-A-Changin'” in the set list, it must be presumed that the Irish government, like the Chinese, censored Dylan in order to prevent his fierce protest songs from igniting the fury of the masses. And again, Dylan has capitulated! What can you say? He just hasn’t been the same since ’64.