When your rooster crows at the break of dawn


Last night I published a page on the song “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” written by Bob Dylan. The melody of the song and a couple of lines were taken from the Paul Clayton song “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I’m Gone?,” which Dylan had heard Clayton play. The Clayton song was based upon a public domain traditional titled “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I’m Gone.” I’ve yet to find a single recording of the traditional.

To visit the page, click on the link below.

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right — selected early recordings, 1962-1965

1963 Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (LP) Columbia CL 1986 (Mono), CS 8786 (Stereo)-1Excerpts from the Wikipedia page on the song:

The melody is based on the public domain traditional song “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I’m Gone.”[1][2] The melody was [acquired by Dylan from] folksinger Paul Clayton, who had used the melody in his song “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I’m Gone?”

As well as the melody, a couple of lines were taken from Clayton’s “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I’m Gone?,” which was recorded in 1960, two years before Dylan wrote “Don’t Think Twice.” Lines taken word-for-word or slightly altered from the Clayton song are, “T’ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, darlin’,” and, “So I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road.”

From the Wikipedia page on Paul Clayton:

Bob Dylan’s friendship with Clayton dated back to 1961, Dylan’s first year in New York City. Dylan traveled cross-country with Clayton and two other friends in 1963, during which they visited poet Carl Sandburg in North Carolina, attended Mardi Gras in New Orleans and rendezvoused with Joan Baez in California.[30]

In an interview published as part of a history of Greenwich Village folk club Gerde’s Folk City, folk singer Barry Kornfeld described how Clayton’s “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons (When I’m Gone)” morphed into Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice”:

“I was with Paul one day, and Dylan wanders by and says, ‘Hey, man, that’s a great song. I’m going to use that song.’ And he wrote a far better song, a much more interesting song – ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’.”[31]

Dylan’s and Clayton’s publishing companies sued each other over the alleged plagiarism. As it turned out, Clayton’s song was derived from an earlier folk song entitled “Who’s Gonna Buy You Chickens When I’m Gone?”,[32][33] which was in the public domain. The lawsuits, which were settled out of court, had no effect on the friendship between the two songwriters.[5]

Recordings featured in the new page include the following:

Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons (When I’m Gone) (Paul Clayton)


Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right — selected recordings

  • Bob Dylan
    • recorded live 15 October 1962 at the Gaslight Cafe, New York City, New York; released in 2005 on the album Live at the Gaslight 1962, Columbia ‎A 96016, Legacy ‎A 96016; previously unofficially released on various bootlegs in 1973, 2001, and 2002
    • recorded on 14 November 1962 at Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios, NYC, NY; released on the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 27 May 1963; also issued on 13 August 1963 on the single Columbia 4-42856, as the B-side of “Blowin’ in the Wind”

1963 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right-Bob Dylan-Columbia 4-42856 (B-side)Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo-2

  • The New World Singers featuring Gil Turner — recorded on 22 March 1963 in NYC; issued (as “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”) in June 1963 on the single Atlantic 45-2190, b/w “Stew Ball”
  • Joan Baez — from the album Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2, (US) Vanguard VSD 2123, released in November 1963; album recorded April-May 1963 during US concert tour
  • Jackie DeShannon — from her 1963 album Jackie DeShannon, (US) Liberty LRP-3320 (Mono), LST-7320 (Stereo)
  • Peter, Paul and Mary — issued on 28 August 1963 on the single Warner Bros. Records 5385, b/w “Autumn to May” — later included on the album In the Wind, (US) Warner Bros. Records W 1507 (Mono), WS 1507 (Stereo), released in October 1963
  • The Brothers Four — from their 1964 album More Big Folk Hits, (US) Columbia CL 2213 (Mono), CS 9013 (Stereo)
  • Waylon Jennings — recorded at Arizona Recorders in Phoenix on 4 December 1964; originally released in December 1964 on the LP Waylon at JD’s
  • The Johnny Mann Singers — from the 1964 LP Golden Folk Song Hits – Volume 3, Liberty ‎LRP-3355 (Mono), LST-7355 (Stereo)
  • Johnny Cash — live, 24 July 1964, at Newport Folk Festival, Freebody Park, Newport, RI
  • Bob Dylan
    • from the 5 May 1965 concert at Town Hall, Birmingham, England
  • Johnny Cash — from the 1965 album Orange Blossom Special, Columbia CL 2309 (Mono), CS 9109 (Stereo)
  • Davy Graham — from the album Folk, Blues and Beyond, (UK) Decca LK 4649 (also LK.4649), released in January 1965
  • Bobby Bare — from his 1965 album Constant Sorrow, RCA Victor LPM-3395 (Mono), LSP-3395 (Stereo)
  • The Gene Norman Group — (as “Don’t Think Twice”) from the 1965 LP Dylan Jazz; album produced by Leon Russell and Snuff Garrett, and featuring Glen Campbell on guitar
  • Chad & Jeremy — from the 1965 album I Don’t Want to Lose You Baby, (US) Columbia CL 2398 (Mono), CS 9198 (Stereo)
  • Joan Baez — from a 5 June 1965 concert at the BBC Television Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, London
  • Duane Eddy — from the 1965 album Duane Eddy Does Bob Dylan, (US) Colpix Records CPL-494 (Mono), Colpix Records SCP 494, PCX S-222 (Stereo)
  • Odetta — from the 1965 LP Odetta Sings Dylan, (US) RCA Victor LPM-3324, LSP-3324

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