Who says I can't get heavenly aid?


As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden

The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine

I was passin' by yon cool crystal fountain

Someone hit me from behind

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Through this weary world of woe

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

No one on earth would ever know

They say prayer has the power to help, so pray for me, mother

In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell

I am a-tryin' to love my neighbor and do good unto others

But oh mother, things ain't going well

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

I'll burn that bridge before you can cross

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

There'll be no mercy for you once you've lost

Now I'm all worn down by weeping

My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry

If I catch my opponents ever sleeping

I'll just slaughter 'em where they lie

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Through the world mysterious and vague

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

Walking through the cities of the plague

Well, the whole world is filled with speculation

The whole wide world which people say is round

They will tear your mind away from contemplation

They will jump on your misfortune when you're down

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Eatin' hog-eyed grease in a hog-eyed town

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

Someday you'll be glad to have me around

They will crush you with wealth and power

Every waking moment you could crack

I'll make the most of one last extra hour

I'll avenge my father's death, then I'll step back

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Hand me down my walkin' cane

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

Got to get you out of my miserable brain

All my loyal and my much loved companions

They approve of me and share my code

I practice a faith that's been long abandoned

Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

My mule is sick, my horse is blind

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

Thinkin' 'bout that gal I left behind

Well, it's bright in the heavens, and the wheels are flyin'

Fame and honor never seem to fade

The fire gone out but the light is never dyin'

Who says I can't get heavenly aid?

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Carryin' a dead a man's shield

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

Walkin' with a toothache in my heel

The suffering is unending

Every nook and cranny has its tears

I'm not playing, I'm not pretending

I'm not nursing any superfluous fears

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Walkin' ever since the other night

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

Walkin' 'til I'm clean out of sight

As I walked out in the mystic garden

On a hot summer day, a hot summer lawn

Excuse me, ma'am, I beg your pardon

There's no one here, the gardener is gone

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Up the road, around the bend

Heart burnin', still yearnin'

In the last outback at the world's end


New York City, New York - November 20, 2006

Hamburg, Germany - April 4, 2007

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - April 9, 2007

Glasgow, Scotland - April 11, 2007

London, England - April 16, 2007

Birmingham, England - April 17, 2007

Herning, Denmark - May 05, 2007

Kelseyville, California - July 28, 2007

Sydney, Australia - August 16, 2007

Melbourne, Australia - August 19, 2007

Adelaide, Australia - August 21, 2007

Perth, Australia - August 23, 2007

Auckland, New Zealand - August 26, 2007

Nashville, Tennessee - September 20, 2007

Charlottesville, Virginia - September 27, 2007

Columbia, Maryland - September 28, 2007

Kingston, Rhode Island - September 29, 2007

Worcester, Massachusetts - October 2, 2007

Portland, Maine - October 4, 2007

Rochester, New York - October 9, 2007

Columbus, Ohio - October 13, 2007

Cincinnati, Ohio - October 15, 2007

Louisville, Kentucky - October 17, 2007

Bloomington, Indiana - October 19, 2007

Bloomington, Illinois - October 20, 2007

St. Louis, Missouri - October 22, 2007

Iowa City, Iowa - October 24, 2007

Omaha, Nebraska - October 26, 2007

Chicago, Illinois - October 27, 2007

Chicago, Illinois - October 29, 2007

Mexico City, Mexico - February 27, 2008

São Paulo, Brazil - March 6, 2008

Córdoba, Argentina - March 13, 2008

Lewiston, Maine - May 17, 2008

St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada - May 23, 2008

St. Petersburg, Russia - June 3, 2008

Vilnius, Lithuania - June 5, 2008

Warsaw, Poland - June 7, 2008

Vienna, Austria - June 10, 2008

Varazdin, Croatia - June 13, 2008

Grenoble, France - June 19, 2008

Pamplona, Spain - June 24, 2008

Vigo, Spain - June 27, 2008

Hoyos del Espino, Spain - June 28, 2008

Alicante, Spain - July 2, 2008

Lorca, Spain - July 4, 2008

Jaén, Andalucia, Spain - July 5, 2008

Mérida, Spain - July 10, 2008

Oeiras, Portugal - July 11, 2008

Asbury Park, New Jersey - August 13, 2008

Atlantic City, New Jersey - August 16, 2008

Canandaigua, New York - August 19, 2008

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - August 20, 2008

Elizabeth, Indiana - August 23, 2008

Tulsa, Oklahoma - August 27, 2008

Kansas City, Missouri - August 28, 2008

Temecula, California - September 4, 2008

San Diego, California - September 6, 2008

Santa Barbara, California - September 7, 2008

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - October 23, 2008

Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada - October 25, 2008

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - October 29, 2008

Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada - October 30, 2008

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada - November 1, 2008

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - November 3, 2008

Minneapolis, Minnesota - November 4, 2008

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - November 6, 2008

Kalamazoo, Michigan - November 8, 2008

London, Ontario, Canada - November 11, 2008

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada - November 13, 2008

Montreal, Quebec, Canada - November 18, 2008

New York City, New York - November 21, 2008

Erfurt, Germany - April 2, 2009

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - April 12, 2009

Brussels, Belgium - April 22, 2009

London, England - April 26, 2009

Birmingham, England - April 29, 2009

Glasgow, Scotland - May 2, 2009

Edinburgh, Scotland - May 3, 2009

Dublin, Ireland - May 5, 2009

Dublin, Ireland- May 6, 2009

Eastlake, Ohio - July 11, 2009

Allentown, Pennsylvania - July 14, 2009

Pawtucket, Rhode Island - July 21, 2009

Lakewood, New Jersey - July 23, 2009

Norfolk, Virginia - July 25, 2009

Alpharetta, Georgia - July 30, 2009

Round Rock, Texas - August 4, 2009

Portland, Oregon - October 7, 2009

Los Angeles, California - October 15, 2009

Salina, Kansas - October 23, 2009

Rockford, Illinois - October 27, 2009

Chicago, Illinois - October 29, 2009

Columbus, Ohio - November 3, 2009

Canton, Ohio - November 5, 2009

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada - November 7, 2009

Fairfax, Virginia - November 11, 2009

Boston, Massachusetts - November 13, 2009

Boston, Massachusetts - November 14, 2009

New York City, New York - November 17, 2009

New York City, New York - November 19, 2009

Lyon, France - June 20, 2010

Bordeaux, France - June 29, 2010

San Francisco, California - August 25, 2010

Birmingham, Alabama - October 13, 2010

Nashville, Tennessee - October 19, 2010

Champaign, Illinois - October 22, 2010

Rochester, New York - November 6, 2010

Washington, DC - November 13, 2010

New York City, New York - November 22, 2010

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - October 8, 2012

Sacramento, California - October 20, 2012

Broomfield, Colorado - October 30, 2012

Tulsa, Oklahoma - November 2, 2012

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - November 8, 2012

Rome, Italy - November 6, 2013

Rome, Italy - November 7, 2013

"AIN'T TALKIN'" was recorded early in 2006 for 'Modern Times', released in August of 2006. I believe since first hearing it that this majestic song is the best album closer in a quarter of a century. And exactly like "EVERY GRAIN OF SAND" in 1981, this gem of a song found its way into Dylan's concert performance not earlier than during the last show of the year it was recorded in. That live debut of "AIN'T TALKIN'" in New York City was the eighth song from 'Modern Times' performed on stage during the fall tour of 2006.

The two repeated lines of the refrain "Ain't talkin', just walkin' .... Heart burnin', still yearnin'" were borrowed from the refrain of the Stanley Brothers song "Highway Of Regret" (recorded in summer 1959, and available as track 5 on the second disc of the four CD set "The Stanley Brothers - The Early Starday/King Years"). Below you will find an mp3 of the last 17 seconds of that track, with the last refrain of "Highway Of Regret".

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Down this highway of regret
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
For the best girl this poor boy ever met

~ MP3 ~ the last 17 seconds of "Highway Of Regret" ~

During the fine European tour in the spring of 2007 "AIN'T TALKIN'" appeared in six of the 28 shows. Descriptions would not do justice to the beauty of those European live performances of this gem, so I refer to the mp3 links below. Listen for yourself. During the North American summer tour of 2007 "AIN'T TALKIN'" was performed only once, during the very last show, in Kelseyville, California; and during the New Zealand and Australia tour in August 2007 "AIN'T TALKIN'" appeared in five of the 12 shows. During the USA fall tour of 2007 "AIN'T TALKIN'" was performed in 17 of the 30 shows.

During the Latin American tour of 2008 "AIN'T TALKIN'" appeared three times, in Mexico, in Brazil, and in Argentina; and during the (mainly European) tour from May to July 2008 "AIN'T TALKIN'" was performed sixteen times. Two of the last three renditions in Europe, in Jaén and in Mérida, I had the privilege to witness from the rail, and especially the first of the two, in Jaén, was an absolutely jaw dropping version. Having listened to most previous versions on sometimes stellar field recordings I expected the experience to be like that, only live. But no, standing there looking at the greatest living artist performing this wonderful masterpiece was an altogether different thing. The deliverance by Bob Dylan and his band was nothing short of commanding, captivating, simply awesome. Performing art delivered from any stage, experienced live in concert, does not get any better than this. From August 2008 to November 2008 "AIN'T TALKIN'" was performed 23 more times in North America, and in October 2008 a studio outtake of "AIN'T TALKIN'" was released on "The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs".

In 2009 "AIN'T TALKIN'" was performed nine times during the European tour in the spring, the last two shows of which (both featuring this magnificent song) I had the pleasure to attend in Dublin. [Both shows also featured the first two appearances of "If You Ever Go To Houston".] During the summer minor league baseball stadium tour in the US "AIN'T TALKIN'" appeared seven more times; and during the fall tour of 2009 it was performed in thirteen of the 33 shows.

In 2010 "AIN'T TALKIN'" was not perfomed at all in Japan, but it appeared twice in June during the European tour, both times in France. In the US "AIN'T TALKIN'" was performed seven times from August to November 2010. In 2011 there was no appearance of "AIN'T TALKIN'", and in 2012 it was not until the North American fall tour that Bob Dylan chose to include this gem five times into his live repertoire, sitting at his grand piano.

The only two appearances of "AIN'T TALKIN'" during the "static set list year" 2013 were during the two "mix up" shows in Rome in November, in the middle of Dylan's fine European autumn tour. [for mp3 links to both of them see below]

~ MP3 ~ AIN'T TALKIN' ~ NEW YORK ~ NOVEMBER 20, 2006 ~

~ MP3 ~ AIN'T TALKIN' ~ GLASGOW ~ APRIL 11, 2007 ~

~ MP3 ~ AIN'T TALKIN' ~ HERNING ~ MAY 5, 2007 ~





Biblical references:

~ James 2:8 ~

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

~ Matthew 7:12 ~

Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

~ 1 Samuel 26:5-12 ~

David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment, while the army was encamped around him. Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab's brother Abishai the son of Zeruiah, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. Then said Abishai to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.” But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord's anointed and be guiltless?” And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord's anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul's head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them.

~ John 20:1-18 ~

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.