Track 8. Nettie Moore
Dylan has received a torrent of criticism for Modern Times in the arena of plagiarism for the musical and lyrical content. Give me a break. I too have my discovery and analysis, in the song Nettie Moore he uses what sounds like an E chord. Thief! I will nudge a little and say Bob could have put some basic acknowledgements on the liner notes but the fervent angry ones out there simply were looking for vulnerabilities in the armor. Many of the arguments are well based and argued with intelligence and foresight but in the end it all adds up to a big so what.
Nettie Moore takes its title, and some of its chorus, from an 1857 composition "Gentle Nettie Moore" by Marshall Pike and James Lord Pierpont. (I stole that line from Wikipedia). This is a gorgeous song and a testament to Dylan’s own production and understanding of how he wants his stuff to sound. On the first few listens Nettie Moore kind of slipped by my ears, being pinned between Working Man’s Blues # 2 and Ain’t Talkin’, but soon it grew a life of its own and is currently my favorite song on Modern Times.
Modern Times is off the board. Slow tear falls for Working Man’s Blues # 2 and Ain’t Talkin’.