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NORTH COUNTRY BLUES BOB DYLAN

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Published on Feb 27, 2011

Copyright music and lyrics reproduced by kind permission of Special Rider -- for original, exclusive
performances by Bob Dylan, check-out the official channel at www.youtube.com/bobdylan.

DYLAN'S FAMILY CAME FROM ODESSA AND LITHUANIA; THEY SETTLED IN MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN. HIS FATHER WORKED FOR STANDARD OIL UNTILL HE DEVELOPED POLIO, WHEN HE WENT TO WORK WITH HIS BROTHERS IN HIBBING MINNESOTA. DYLAN'S RELATIVES, AND THE FAMILY FRIENDS, WERE A LARGE JEWISH PRESENCE SCATTERED IN BOTH STATES; WHEN IT CAM FOR DYLAN'S BAR MITZVAH, BOB'S PARENTS IMPORTED A RABBI FROM BROOKLYN.

HIBBING HAD THE COUNTRY'S LARGEST IRON STRIP MINE-SITE. IN THE LATE 40'S, BECAUSE OF THE END OF THE WAR AND THE DECREASED DEMAND FOR IRON, IT GRADUALLY BECAME DEFUNCT.

THIS SONG, NORTH COUNTRY BLUES, APPEARS TO BE DYLAN'S OBSERVATIONS AND EXPERIENCE AT THAT TIME. IN THE SONG, HE TAKES THE PERSONA OF A GIRL WHO IS SURROUNDED BY MINERS. IT IS HER FATHER THAT DIES, MUCH THE SAME WAY DYLAN'S FATHER GOT POLIO.

I FIRST HEARD THIS SONG IN 1964, AND ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS HAUNTING AND EVOCATIVE. EXTRA-ORDINARY.

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