|Released March 19, 1962|
Label Columbia/Capitol (US)
|Recorded November 1961|
Writer(s) Bob Dylan
"Song to Woody" is one of the first ever songs written by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on his eponymous debut album Bob Dylan in 1962. The song conveys Dylan's appreciation of folk legend Woody Guthrie. The tune is based on Guthrie's song "1913 Massacre". The song also makes references to icons such as Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry and Lead Belly whose music Dylan appreciated. The line "that come with the dust and are gone with the wind" quotes the line "we come with the dust and we go with the wind" in Guthrie's song "Pastures of Plenty".
A live version of "Song to Woody" was recorded live at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Santa Cruz, on 16 March 2000 and released on the "Things Have Changed" CD single in 2000.
Dan Bern makes heavy references to "Song to Woody" in his song "Talkin' Woody, Bob, Bruce & Dan Blues" from the album Smartie Mine.
David Bowie also makes reference to the song in his own tribute to Dylan, "Song for Bob Dylan", which begins with the line, "Now hear this, Robert Zimmerman, I wrote this song for you" mirroring Dylan's own "Hey, hey Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song."
Frank Turner references the song in his song "Pass it Along", with the lyrics "Hey, hey Mr Dylan, I have written you a song." This originally appeared on his Rock & Roll EP and was subsequently released on compilation The Second Three Years, which also features a cover of "Song to Woody" renamed "Song to Bob" with some lyrical adjustments.
A punk rock version of the song by Silverstein can be found on the amnesty international charity album Chimes of Freedom.