AUK’s Chain Gang: Bob Dylan “Man of Constant Sorrow”

Credit: Xavier Badosa

Lots of potential links in the chain to follow from last week’s ‘Tweeter and the Monkey Man‘ by the Travelin’ Wilburys, I’ve picked two, band member Bob Dylan, and ‘man‘, coming together in the much-covered song ‘Man of Constant Sorrow‘. First published by Dick Burnett in 1913, it’s believed to have earlier roots as a traditional folk song, but was popularised by The Stanley Brothers in the 1950s.

Bob Dylan recorded his version of the song, with his own twist on the melody, on his 1962 debut album, with other notable 1960s recordings by Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Peter, Paul and Mary. The song came back into wider public view with its airing in the 2000 film ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?‘, which is credited with bringing a new audience to bluegrass and old-time music. George Clooney appears as the lead vocalist of the Soggy Bottom Boys, performing the song, but the vocals are by Dan Tyminski.

So I’ve missed the George Michael ‘Monkey‘ link opportunity–but can go one better, as this widely travelled song has also been covered by Miley Cyrus and Ginger Baker’s Air Force–have these two artists ever featured in the same sentence before?

About David Jarman 117 Articles
Long time fan of Americana genre, from early days of Ry Cooder, through to today's thriving scene. Regular visitor to USA ( Nashville/Austin/Memphis/LA ) live music junkie, I play guitar, mandolin, harmonica, plus vocals, run monthly jam session in Broadstairs
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