Cover of a Dylan love song and (brief) thoughts on the sincerity of music.

Think I’d share my latest cover song here with a few words.

I first wanted to do a cover of this song as early as May this year, but was stopped by the intensity of affections in the lyrics. I didn’t remotely have anyone in my mind that’d make me feel singing it is a genuine act, the cover thought was thus halted for a few months. (Although, I’m also curious how genuine Bob Dylan was when he first wrote the lyrics.)

I don’t usually ponder over this matter that much, not when I did my previous other cover pieces. I have covered songs which the story basically felt quite irrelevant, but merely out of my appreciation of the music itself (eg Hallelujah, Santa baby). I also covered some songs which I could more or less relate to but the emotion was kinda water under the bridge when I recorded it (eg Mad world, End of the world).

It’s usually easy for people to sing a song without fussing over what it means, and most of the time I enjoy the simplicity of this approach. And yet, somehow, with “Make you feel my love”, there is something in the lyrics that alarms me of the basic sincerity of music. Maybe it just steps above the comfortable level to which I’m willing to give a dramatic license for my own covers. Maybe the lack of an imagery in my mind was too much at odds with the affections in the lyrics. Or maybe, I’ve simply passed the age that one is able to sing an ordinary love song lightheartedly.

Fast-forward to 5 months later, I covered this song eventually. As vigilant as I am of how pop love songs can be self-fulfilling and shallow the realness of the subject, I do consider myself lucky that I was feeling an inch closer to the emotional state that (I think) is required to cover this beautifully composed Dylan piece.

And, for the sake of everything I just said, I added some personal footnotes for the lyrics to my own interpretation below. Consider it another laughable and serious act from me. Hope you’d enjoy the song.

Make You Feel My Love

Bob Dylan

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

(Yes, I guess I can and will do that. I don’t think I need to “offer” that – I’ll just do it.)

When evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

(A million years…I don’t know. I’d rather not put a time stamp on it.)

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong

(No seriously, this is something I’d rather not promise, and not be promised on. )

I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

(This sounds quite condescending and I don’t feel all comfortable with it)

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
And oh, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

(Alarmingly dramatic.)

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet

(I feel this is the part that’s most real in the whole song. And I love that it implies “I” am a flawed character but “I” am also confident that I shall be a new experience to “you”. If it only takes one line in a song to wrench a heart, “you ain’t see nothing like me yet” is this line for me. )

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love

(Another dramatic verse, but I’m touched by and can relate to the intention of “make you happy and make you dreams come true”, which I believe is something shared by everyone ready to love, at the great length a poet can go.)

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