Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

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As well as the melody, a couple of lines were taken from Clayton’s “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I’m Gone?”, which was recorded in 1960, two years before Dylan wrote: “Don’t Think Twice”. Lines taken word-for-word or slightly altered from the Clayton song are, “T’ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, darlin’,” and, “So I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road.” On the first release of the song, instead of “So I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road babe, where I’m bound, I can’t tell” Dylan sings “So long, honey babe, where I’m bound, I can’t tell”. The lyrics were changed when Dylan performed live versions of the song and on cover versions recorded by other artists.

don’t think twice it’s alright

Verse 1

   C               G              Am
It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
F                   C   G
It don't matter, anyhow
       C               G              Am
An' it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
D7                   G   G7
If you don't know by now
          C                    C7
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
F                        D7
Look out your window and I'll be gone
C          G          Am        F
You're the reason I'm trav'lin' on
C           G               C     G
Don't think twice, it's all right

Verse 2

   C               G               Am
It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
F                  C      G
That light I never knowed
       C               G               Am
An' it ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe
D7                          G    G7
I'm on the dark side of the road
        C                                  C7
Still I wish there was somethin' you would do or say
F                            D7
To try and make me change my mind and stay
C        G            Am         F
We never did too much talkin' anyway
C              G               C     G
So don't think twice, it's all right

Verse 3

   C               G              Am
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
F                    C    G
Like you never did before
   C               G              Am
It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal
D7                   G    G7
I can't hear you any more
      C                                C7
I'm a-thinkin' and a-wond'rin' all the way down the road
F                       D7
I once loved a woman, a child I'm told
C             G             Am        F
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
C               G               C     G
But don't think twice, it's all right

Verse 4

   C   G            Am
So loooooong, honey babe
          F             C    G
Where I'm bound,I can't tell
    C         G          Am       
But goodbye's too good a word,babe
D7                          G
 So I'll just say fare thee well
C                          C7
I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
    F                          D7
You could have done better but I don't mind
C              G        Am        F       
You just kinda wasted my precious time
    C           G              C
But don't think twice,it's all right

It has been argued that the guitar on the original version of the song, which features fast fingerstyle, was played by Bruce Langhorne, but since it’s been pretty much proven that it was Dylan himself. Here’s a fascinating read on courtroom proceedings where the Langhorne vs. Dylan debate was discussed. Eyolf Østrem lays down a solid case that proves that “It Wasn’t Bruce”.

Fingerpicking

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3