Bob Dylan: Listen to 5 Wonderful live versions of “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”

Yeah, Elvis Presley. I liked Elvis Presley… Elvis Presley recorded a song of mine. That’s the one recording I treasure the most… It was called Tomorrow Is A Long Time. I wrote it but never recorded it.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner, Nov 1969)

“Tomorrow Is a Long Time” is an example of an exceptional Dylan song from 1962-63 that as far as we know he never chose to record in any of his Columbia studio sessions, although many lesser songs were recorded, sometimes more than once.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973 )

Dylan’s officially released version of the song is a live recording from his April 12, 1963, concert at New York’s Town Hall. Dylan had recorded the song in December 1962 as a demo for M. Witmark & Sons, his publishing company. This particular recording, long available as a bootleg, was released by Columbia in 2010 on The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964. A studio version of the song, an outtake from the June 1970 sessions for New Morning, has also been bootlegged.

If today was not a crooked highway
If tonight was not a crooked trail
If tomorrow wasn’t such a long time
Then lonesome would mean nothing to you at all
Yes and only if my own true love was waitin’
And if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin’
Yes, only if she was lyin’ by me
Then I’d lie in my bed once again

Roma Palaeur
Rome, Italy
3 October 1987

Maple Leaf Gardens
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
29 October 1998

I can’t see my reflection in the waters
I can’t speak the sounds that show no pain
I can’t hear the echo of my footsteps
Or remember the sound of my own name
Yes, and only if my own true love was waitin’
And if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin’
Yes and only if she was lyin’ by me
Then I’d lie in my bed once again

Barton Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
15 November 1999

Vicar Street
Dublin, Ireland
13 September 2000

There’s beauty in the silver, singin’ river
There’s beauty in the sunrise in the sky
But none of these and nothing else can touch the beauty
That I remember in my true love’s eyes
Yes and only if my own true love was waitin’
I could hear her heart a softly poundin’
Yes and only if she was lyin’ by me
Then I’d lie in my bed once again

Hanns Martin Schleyerhalle
Stuttgart, Germany
16 April 2002

One thought on “Bob Dylan: Listen to 5 Wonderful live versions of “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”

  1. There is another great version done at another concert in Toronto back on June 5, 1990. Someone shouted out “Tomorrow is a Long Time!” and Bob said, “yes it is, an awful long time.” And then he played it! He also played John Brown and One Too Many Mornings upon request that gig. First and last time I personally ever saw him do anything remotely like that. Here’s the gig, with Tomorrow is a Long Time queued up: https://youtu.be/fSIj7wVqWS8?t=1520

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