In the year 1997, when Bob Dylan was 56 years old he released the album Time out of mind. The album was a huge success and received three Grammy awards. The spotlights were on Dylan again. Critics were extremely positive and liked every song on the album, except track number nine. A low-key, simple, old-fashioned lovesong, Make you feel my love.
The analysis of the critics can hardly be considered as the sacret truth. Their deep reflections aren´t necessarily in line with what the general listener is thinking. He listens to music to be inspired. This is really the case about song number nine on this great album. No song on the album has been as successful as the song Make you feel my love. Many musicians have seen something else in the song than the critics and made their own version of it. Among them are distinguished performers like Billy Joel, Adele, Garth Brooks, Bryan Ferry, and Kelly Clarkson.
The list of those who have performed this song is infinite. The song did though not reach my ears until Sara Pétursdóttir performed it in a high school singing competition in 2014. Shortly after that, my daughter played a piano version of the song in her music school. Then I thought to check if I could find a fingerstyle arrangement of the song. There was no shortage of such an arrangement. Myriad of people has attempted to play it and published their playing online. I chose an arrangement by Ulli Boegerhausen and learned to play it as can be seen in the video below. Strictly speaking, I should not let the arrangement be accessible with this article, but decided to do so because it is easily accessible around the web. Probably some notes are different in this arrangement from the original ones. When I wrote the arrangement down, I did not use Boegerhausen's arrangement as a reference and have probably changed something here and there.
When writing about a Dylan,s song it is inconceivable not to write a bit about the lyrics. The text of the song "Make you feel my love" is not complicated. It deals with love, the sacrifices the narrator is ready to make for it and his desire to be loved back. As in most of Dylan's lyrics there are references that indicate it is more complex than at first glance. Some have suggested that there are strong references in the Bible in the lyric and that the narrator is Jesus Christ himself. Others have pointed out that the narrator´s poor state of mind stems from the divorce of Dylan and his wife few years earlier. Whatever we can figure out about the meaning of the text it is best to keep in mind what Dylan said himself. "The meaning of the lyrics change as time passes. People can add different meanings to it according to their circumstances. They are multilayered. "