Roots of Bob

Hard Times In New York Town

From the Bootleg Series notes (John Bauldie) "Hard Times in New York Town" (written in Novmber 1961) can justly claim to be a Bob Dylan composition, even if it has its source in a folk song popular amongst poor white Southern farmers, known variously as "Down on Penny's Farm" (as recorded by The Bentley Boys in 1929) or "Tanner's Farm (Gid TAnner and Riley Puckett, 1934) or "Robert's Farm" (as recorded by Bascom Lamar Lumsford, 1935). Dylan borrow the tune, the opening two lines, and the verse structure of "Down on Penny's Farm", but shifts the song's setting from country to city, telling the tale of his own hard times trying to make it in the metropolis."

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