Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

The birthday celebrations continued last night with a yoga and wine evening, which took place on Zoom. It’s a series of events that a local wine merchant partnered with a yoga instructor to offer, offered remotely since the pandemic started. It might seem like an unlikely combination, but it was fun.

It’s been about eight years since I practised yoga, and it felt good to do this bodywork after exerting myself on my road bike the day before. The wine portion was fun, too. The same person led both components, and, like the small world it is, we used to be colleagues. She took us through the experience of three different wines: a South Australian chardonnay, a French rosé, and a Portuguese alentejano. All were superb, and we learned about food pairings with each one. It was an enjoyable date night, and convenient to be at home and not concerned about drinking and driving. I’d highly recommend this event if you live in the Winnipeg area.

After that, we watched a couple of episodes of Ted Lasso, and during the end credits of season 3, episode 3 (“Big Week”), today’s selection played.

The American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (b. 1941) wrote “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” in 1962. He recorded it in 1963 for his second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan and released it as a single on the b-side of “Blowin’ in the Wind.” That same year, the American folk revival trio Peter, Paul and Mary (which formed in 1961 with tenor Peter Yarrow, b. 1938; baritone Noel Paul Stookey, b. 1937; and contralto Mary Allin Travers, 1936-2009) recorded it and two other Dylan compositions for their third album, In the Wind. Interestingly, the Peter, Paul and Mary version omits a couple of verses, so some online lyrics sites don’t reflect what’s on their recording.

In the liner notes to Dylan’s original release, the American historian and music critic Nat Hentoff (1925-2017) described “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” as “a statement that maybe you can say to make yourself feel better … as if you were talking to yourself.”

The song is well-placed in the Ted Lasso episode as the Nathan Shelley character continues to be in conflict with just about everyone, including himself.

“It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don’t matter anyhow
Ad’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don’t know

When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m travelin’ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
The light I never knowed
It ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road
Still, I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin’ anyway
So don’t think twice, it’s alright

I’m walking down a long and lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye is too good a word, girl
So I just say fare thee well
I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better, but I don’t mind
You just sorta wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s alright

It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, girl
Like you never did before
It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, girl
I can’t hear you anymore

I’m a-thinkin’ and a-wonderin’ all the way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul
Don’t think twice, it’s alright”

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” by Bob Dylan.
Lyrics retrieved from Musixmatch.

The music of Peter, Paul and Mary was another anchor in my childhood. I remember many of their songs, including “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which is about the loss of childhood innocence. I always found the piece reassuring in a kind of slightly melancholy way; I wonder if it played around when I, as a boy of about nine, learned that we all eventually die. (This traumatic lesson was delivered during the Christmas holidays of all times!) Peter, Paul and Mary were on the scene later in what’s referred to as the folk revival movement, and their career also spanned the civil rights and peace movements. Their sound was primarily soft (often categorized under the easy listening genre) but they had a powerful influence on 1960s culture. I always enjoyed their music, and it was a treat to hear this song in such an unexpected place.

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

Here’s the audio from the Peter, Paul and Mary YouTube topic channel:

With warm memories,


10 thoughts on “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

  1. Dylan could sure write a meaningful song. His music has had quite the impact on my life since middle school. My understanding is Peter, Paul, and Mary’s cover versions played a significant role in launching his career. Imagine if his wealth of poetry never made it to the airwaves? The 1960s, music as a whole, and many lives may have looked considerably different. Thanks for continuing to share these posts, Steve. I really enjoy your perspectives and the historical descriptions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, John, you’re welcome and thank you for stopping by! I did not know that about the effect their cover versions had for Dylan. Thanks for sharing that!


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