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John Wesley Harding was a friend to the poor,
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He trav'led with a gun in ev'ry hand.
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All along this countryside, he opened a many a door,
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But he was never known to hurt an honest man.
'Twas down in Chaynee County, a time they talk about,
With his lady by his side he took a stand.
And soon the situation there was all but straightened out,
For he was always known to lend a helping hand.
All across the telegraph his name it did resound,
But no charge held against him could they prove.
And there was no man around who could track or chain him down,
He was never known to make a foolish move.
John Wesley Harding is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's eighth studio album, released by Columbia Records in December 1967.
Produced by Bob Johnston, the album marked Dylan's return to acoustic music and traditional roots, after three albums of electric rock music. John Wesley Harding was recorded around the same time as (and shares many stylistic threads with) a prolific series of home recording sessions with The Band, finally released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes.
John Wesley Harding was exceptionally well received by critics and enjoyed solid sales, reaching the number 2 slot on U.S. charts and topping the British charts. The commercial performance was considered remarkable considering that Dylan had kept Columbia from releasing the album with much promotion or publicity. Less than three months after its release, John Wesley Harding was certified gold by the RIAA. „All Along the Watchtower” became one of his most popular songs after it was covered by Jimi Hendrix the following year.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 301 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.