It Ain't Me, Babe (3:32)

Cover of The Essential Bob Dylan

From The Essential Bob Dylan and 93 other releases

“It Ain’t Me Babe” is the title of a 1964 song by Bob Dylan, first included on his album Another Side of Bob Dylan. The song’s opening line (“Go away from my window…”) is allegedly influenced by musicologist/folk-singer John Jacob Niles’ composition “Go ‘Way From My Window.” Niles is referred to by Dylan as an early influence in his autobiography, Chronicles, Vol. 1. Clinton Heylin reports that a London Times reporter at a May 1964 Royal Festival Hall concert where Dylan first played the “It Ain’t Me” took the lines “no, no, no, it ain’t me babe” as a parody of The Beatles’ “She Loves You”.[1] When Bob Dylan played his first electric concerts at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and Monterey in 1965, he gave “It Ain’t Me, Babe” an electric arrangement.

Dylan and Johnny Cash admired each other’s work a great deal, and with Dylan’s blessing, Cash recorded the song with June Carter. The song was released on Cash’s 1965 album, Orange Blossom Special, and became a hit. This song was also featured in the 2005 film about Cash’s life, Walk the Line, and was performed by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.

In the film Blow, George Jung (played by Johnny Depp) recites a line from “It Ain’t Me Babe” while on trial for marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

In 1965, The Turtles also had a hit single of the song, which reached #8 in the U.S. and was then featured on their album of the same name.

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