Bob Dylan “Spanish is The Loving Tongue” – 4 studio versions and 2 live versions

Spanish is the loving tongue
Soft as music, light as spray
’twas a girl I learned it from
Living down sonora way
I don’t look much like a lover
Still I hear her loved words over
Mostly when I’m all alone
Mi amor, mi corazón

“Spanish is the Loving Tongue” is a song based on the poem “A Border Affair” written by Charles Badger Clark in 1907. Clark was a cowboy poet who lived throughout the American West, and was named the Poet Laureate of South Dakota in 1937. The poem was set to music in 1925 by Billy Simon. Over the years, the song was recorded by many top recording artists, including Bob Dylan, Ian and Sylvia, Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, Marianne Faithfull, Emmylou Harris, Michael Martin Murphey, and The Chad Mitchell Trio (under the name “Adios, mi Corazon”).

Bob Dylan first recorded it @ Red Room, Bob Dylan’s Home, Byrdcliffe, New York – March-May 1967. This version was finally released on THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 11: THE BASEMENT TAPES COMPLETE, CD 1, 3 November 2014.

A bad version was recorded Columbia Studio A, Nashville, Tennessee – 24 April 1969. This version was released (against Dylan´s wishes) on the album “Dylan” (1973).

Two versions were recorded @ Studio E, Columbia Recording Studios, New York City, New York – 2 June 1970. This versions was finally released on “The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969–1971)” – August 27, 2013.

  • Bob Dylan solo with piano.

First take – Great version:

Second take – AWESOME version:

This version is superb, and the quality of his vocals and piano performances leave no regrets.
-> Margotin, Philippe; Guesdon, Jean-Michel (Bob Dylan All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track)

This version was first released on the B-side of “Watching The River Flow” single – 3 June 1971. Later released on “Masterpieces” March 1978 in Japan & on “Pure Dylan – An intimate look at Bob Dylan” 21 October 2011.

Live

He has performed the song 2 times live; one @ Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York – 9 May 1974
(The Friends of Chile Benefit Concert) and one @ Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, Texas – 11 May 1976.

1974

Unfortunately Bob Dylan arrived for the show well ahead of time, and passed the hours by drinking wine and chatting with old friends like Dave Van Ronk, Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie. By the time he took the stage for his brief 15-minute set he was virtually legless – literally – and the performance remains probably the most excruciating of all his many guest appearances…
–> Clinton Heylin

Bad version:

1976
Great version:

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