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Lay Down Your Weary Tune

[Bob Dylan]

Steeleye Span Mk. 2—Martin Carthy, Maddy Prior, Peter Knight, Tim Hart and Ashley Hutchings—sang Bob Dylan’s ballad a cappella on a BBC “Folk on 1” on 17 October 1970. Together with the tunes College Grove / Silver Spear, this recording found its way into the Ashley Hutchings collection The Guv’nor Vol 1 and in 2006 on the bonus CD of the 2006 reissue of Please to See the King.

Lay Down Your Weary Tune was also sung by Fairport Convention on their first ever BBC session recorded on 24 November 1967 and broadcast on John Peel’s “Top Gear” programme on 10 December 1967. This recording was finally made available in 2002 on the 4CD box Fairport unConventioNal.

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton sang Lay Down Your Weary Tune on their 2015 CD Declaration. They noted:

Music critics have described this song variously as Dylan’s first ‘withdrawal’ song, his shift from politics to mysticism, and as a work dedicated to his musical muse. Dylan himself tells that he wrote this song in a style similar to that of a Scottish ballad. Either way, the idea of music as a musician’s solace, a net in which to land softly, is familiar; and the idea of landscape as a grand orchestra of sound is wonderful.

Cara sang Lay Down Your Weary Tune on their 2021 CD Grounded. They noted:

A song about the beauty of things that surround us and the sounds they make. The music of the universe.


Please find the lyrics for this song at Bob Dylan’s website.