Bob Dylan – Tough Mama

Bob Dylan - Tough Mama


Tough Mama · Bob Dylan / Bob Dylan Planet Waves ℗ 1974 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment Engineer: Bob Fraboni Guitar: Robbie Robertson Assistant Engineer: Nat Jeffrey Drums: Levon Helm Drums, Piano: Richard Manuel Organ: Garth Hudson Bass: Rick Danko


Planet Waves is the fourteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on January 17, 1974 by Asylum Records in the United States and Island Records in the United Kingdom.

Side one
1.“On a Night Like This”2:57
2.“Going, Going, Gone”3:27
3.“Tough Mama”4:17
5.“Something There Is About You”4:45
6.“Forever Young”4:57




Tough Mama
Meat shakin’ on your bones
I’m gonna go down to the river and get some stones
Sister’s on the highway with that steel-drivin’ crew
Papa’s in the big house, his workin’ days are through
Tough Mama
Can I blow a little smoke on you?

Dark Beauty
Won’t you move it on over and make some room?
It’s my duty to bring you down to the field where the flowers bloom
Ashes in the furnace, dust on the rise
You came through it all the way, flyin’ through the skies
Dark Beauty
With that long night’s journey in your eyes

Sweet Goddess
Born of a blinding light and a changing wind
Now, don’t be modest, you know who you are and where you’ve been
Jack the Cowboy went up north
He’s buried in your past
The Lone Wolf went out drinking
That was over pretty fast
Sweet Goddess
Your perfect stranger’s comin’ in at last

Silver Angel
With the badge of the lonesome road sewed in your sleeve
I’d be grateful if this golden ring you would receive
Today on the countryside it was a-hotter than a crotch
I stood alone upon the ridge and all I did was watch
Sweet Goddess
It must be time to carve another notch

I’m crestfallen
The world of illusion is at my door
I ain’t a-haulin’ any of my lambs to the marketplace anymore
The prison walls are crumblin’, there is no end in sight
I’ve gained some recognition but I lost my appetite
Dark Beauty
Meet me at the border late tonight

Review :

Tough Mama: Dylan taking us further down the road.


Unlike some of his full-on years in the 1960s, 1973 for Dylan was a year primarily of writing, and then recording the songs that became Planet Waves.   Tough Mama was written after On a Night Like This – a song that has the same sort of upbeat, here it is, take it or leave it, charge-along and have-some-fun, approach to music and life.

It was recorded on November 6, along with  “Hazel,” and “Something There Is About You.”   Three songs about women and their mystery, although Tough Mama seems more confused about what’s going on and where the singer wants to be, than the other songs.


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  1. This song, together with Dirge was to me an indication that Dylan had found a new stance in his writing, though still a bit unsure where to go, and unwilling to leave his search for simple and concise songs behind, as proven in most of the other lyrics from Planet Waves. It sure is not the minor song most critics proclaim it to be, more of a mind opener…

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