Highway 61 Revisited Song

Highly Appreciated

“Highway 61 Revisited”  is the title track of Bob Dylan’s 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited.  It was also released as the B-side to the single “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” later the same year.  In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as number 373 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  (More from Wikipedia)

As to his Christian period, I have already mentioned the Biblical imagery in When the Ship Comes In”.  The opening verse of the title track, “Highway 61 Revisited” on Highway 61 Revisited is a hip retelling of God’s command that Abraham sacrifice his long-awaited son Isaac.  One of the songs on his very first album, Bob Dylan is a traditional folk song called “Gospel Plow”.  So none of this is brand new either as I see it. 


(May 2013)


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The title song on Highway 61 Revisited (1965) – the album which includes Dylan’s signature song Like a Rolling Stone – includes a novel take on the Biblical story of Abraham, when God told him to kill his newborn, long-promised son Isaac.  (I had no idea what the title meant, really, until I moved to Mississippi and found that U.S. Highway 61 runs through the heart of the Delta Blues country.  The city of Brookhaven, where I first lived and worked, is located on U.S. Highway 51, and I also knew about a more obscure song by Bob Dylan called “Highway 51”).  Here are the lyrics for the first verse of Highway 61 Revisited


     Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”

     Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”

     God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”

     God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but

     The next time you see me comin’ you better run”

     Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”

     God says, “Out on Highway 61” 


In the late 1970’s though, Dylan’s music went beyond imagery into true belief. 


(August 2014)


Last edited: March 22, 2021