Like a Rolling Stone

Today I went to my YouTube feed and took a little trip down an internet rabbit hole, ending up on a page with videos featuring English guitarist Jeff Beck (1944-2023), who died a week ago in East Sussex, England. I never followed Beck’s career, though I recall my older brothers enjoying his music when we were growing up.

The song I decided to post today is Beck and fellow English musician Seal (b. 1963, aka Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel) performing Bob Dylan’s (b. 1941) blues rock hit “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965). Their version appears on a four-disc, 76-track compilation, Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International (2012). Beck’s guitar playing and Seal’s vocals mix with other fabulous instrumentation and backup singers, creating a rousing rendition of the song.

Dylan wrote the rather cynical lyrics using a piece of poetry he wrote during a period of exhaustion following a tour, making them into four verses, adding a chorus.

“Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody’s ever taught you how to live out on the street
And now you’re gonna have to get used to it
You said you’d never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He’s not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain’t no good
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They’re all drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you’d better take your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?”

“Like a Rolling Stone,” by Bob Dylan.
Lyrics (from original Dylan recording) retrieved from

Beck and Seal also collaborated on a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s (1942-1970) 1967 song “Manic Depression” on the 1993 tribute album Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.

I wonder if today’s artists will get together to produce a tribute album to Beck’s musical career…

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here is the audio from the official Jeff Beck YouTube channel.

Did you follow Beck’s career? If so, what are some of your favourites among his music? Please let me know in the comments!

With my best wishes,


2 thoughts on “Like a Rolling Stone

  1. It’s the first time I have heard this cover. Interesting what they have done with the song but not one I would add to my playlist. I think I just have too many good memories associated with Dylan’s original to really enjoy any cover. Thank you for sharing it though, it was interesting to hear this interpretation.

    Liked by 1 person

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