To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I like Dylan's song I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine
off John Wesley Harding. I was watching a Pete Seeger documentary
recently that featured his performance of "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last
Night," and I couldn't believe the similarity of these two lyrics; the
phrasing and cadence of these lines was exactly the same, except
replacing "St. Augustine" for "Joe Hill Last Night."
I already knew Dylan writes this way. There are other, more apparent
examples of Dylan taking a phrase or sentence (or song) and
reappropriating it for his own uses, such as Rollin' and Tumblin'
off Modern Times. Just to be clear, I don't find this controversial at
all, that's simply how folk music works. But after hearing "Joe Hill"
I'm starting to realize that there must be many more examples of this
that I'm completely unaware of. Do you know of any?
I've been looking to get more into old folk, country and blues lately,
but it all seems a bit overwhelming to this listener's 21st century
ears. However, I think if I could listen to a song and draw a connection
from there to somewhere in Dylan's work, it would make it that much
more interesting to me. So please, your examples of an old-timey song that Dylan pays homage to, references, or just plain flat-out steals?