Fotogalerie van Jan-Maarten Goedkoop

West 4th Street
West 4th Street
161 West 4th Street

Zie Bob Dylan in New York.

"You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend"

'Positively 4th Street', (studio opname Youtube helaas niet meer beschikbaar, laat je niet verwarren door een op zich knappe cover. Met dank aan, een beetje trage, Youku). Luister anders ook hier. Een sterke uitvoering staat ook op de CD The Essential  Bob Dylan.

Song Review by Richie Unterberger at

"Positively 4th Street" was one of Bob Dylan's biggest hits, reaching the Top Ten in 1965 as a follow-up to "Like a Rolling Stone." As has often been pointed out, rarely has a big pop hit featured such nasty lyrics. We are not talking here about the profanity or violence of gangsta rap, but interpersonal nastiness, digging deep into another person's psyche to make them feel as worthless as possible. The level of bile was slightly coated by the music, which was a fairly good-natured folk-rock melody that, like "Like a Rolling Stone," highlighted the piping organ of Al Kooper. Dylan starts right off by accusing the unspecified second-person target of the song as having a lot of nerve to say they're his friend, then reeling off verse after verse lambasting him or her for being a two-faced backstabber. Indeed the melody is pretty repetitive, never getting out of the sequence it passes through in the first four lines, and it's a bit surprising that it got to be as big a hit as it was. Dylan was huge after "Like a Rolling Stone," though, and that no doubt gave it a window of daylight into AM radio play lists that it might not have had at most other times. Dylan doesn't let up, eventually concluding that he wishes the target of his rage could stand in his shoes to see what a drag she or he is to see from the outside. There's been a lot of speculation over the years as to who "Positively 4th Street" is about; most likely it's a composite of several people from his past Dylan bore a grudge toward. Though the title of the song is never heard in the lyric, 4th Street was a key thoroughfare in the Greenwich Village where Dylan made his name, and understandably many in the Village thought the song might have been about them, and were furious about it. "Positively 4th Street" attracted a relatively small group of covers over the years, by such disparate artists as Lucinda Williams, Johnny Rivers, and the Byrds. The last of those are esteemed as the best Dylan interpreters, yet their version, from Untitled, is not memorable and rates among their less-notable Dylan covers.

'Positively 4th Street'  Bob Dylan (live in Ayustralië 1966) of hier (live in New York in 1998).

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you gotta helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that's winning

You say I let you down
You know it's not like that
If you're so hurt
Why then don't you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that's not where it's at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You're in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don't know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, "How are you?" "Good luck"
But you don't mean it

When you know as well as me
You'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once
And scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I'd rob them

And now I know you're dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don't you understand
It's not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you