The Bob Dylan Song That Made John Lennon Paranoid

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Bob Dylan and The Beatles have been quite prominent figures in the music scene, especially in the 1960s as part of the counterculture of that era. They still have a broad audience from all corners of the world, and they continue to have a remarkable influence on today’s music.

In his songwriting catalog, Bob Dylan has a song that is quite similar to one of the Beatles’ songs. The Beatles wrote this song back in 1965, a couple of months before Dylan recorded his version in 1966. However, according to John Lennon, Dylan’s version did bring him nothing but paranoia.

Which Bob Dylan Song Gave John Lennon Paranoia?

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Bob Dylan released his seventh studio album, ‘Blonde On Blonde’ on June 20, 1966. The song ‘Fourth Time Around’ shared undeniable similarities with the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood.’

Following its release, ‘Fourth Time Around’ became considered a response to ‘Norwegian Wood,‘ either with a playful attitude or a satirical warning because the Beatles were using ‘Dylanesque’ time signatures and Dylan’s songwriting devices.

On November 23, 1968, John Lennon joined Rolling Stone magazine for an interview. In the interview, he revealed his thoughts on Bob Dylan’s ‘Fourth Time Around.’ As it seems, Lennon was offended by the song’s lyrics, and it drove him paranoid.

John Lennon told Rolling Stone that Bob Dylan played the song to him and asked him his opinions. After that, Lennon got paranoid because he interpreted the final part of the song, ‘I never asked for your crutch / Now don’t ask for mine,’ as a warning.

However, Lennon later changed his mind about ‘Fourth Time Around.’ He stated that he realized this wasn’t Bob Dylan’s intention, and the song was nothing but a playful homage. Moreover, he even ended up liking the song.

In an interview with the Rolling Stone, John Lennon said about Bob Dylan’s ‘Fourth Time Around’ the following:

“I was very paranoid about that. I remember Bob Dylan played it to me when he was in London. He said, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘I don’t like it.’ I didn’t like it, and I was very paranoid.

I just didn’t like what I felt I was feeling; I thought it was an out-and-out skit, you know, but it wasn’t. It was great. I mean, he wasn’t playing any tricks on me. I was just going through the bit.

Below, you can listen to Bob Dylan’s ‘Fourth Time Around’ and the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood.’