(„Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits”, 1967 Sony Music Distribution)
E fis A E
You got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend
gis7 H A H H7
When I was down you just stood there grinning
E fis A E
You got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend
gis7 H A H H7
You just want to be on the side that's winning
You say I let you down you know it's not like that
If you're so hurt why then don't you show it
You say you lost your faith but that's not where it's at
You had no faith to lose and you know it
I know the reason that you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd you're in with
Do you take me for such a fool to think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide what he don't know to begin with
You see me on the street you always act surprised
You say, „How are you?” „Good luck” but you don't mean it
When you know as well as me you'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once and scream it
No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief perhaps I'd rob them
And now I know you're dissatisfied with your position and your place
Don't you understand it's not my problem
I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you
”Positively 4th Street” is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded by Dylan in New York City on July 29, 1965. It was released as Columbia Records single 4-43389 on September 7 of the same year, reaching #1 in Canada, #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on the UK Singles Chart. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as #203 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
The master take of „Positively 4th Street” was recorded on July 29, 1965, during the mid-June to early August recording sessions that produced all of the material that appeared on Dylan's 1965 album, Highway 61 Revisited. The song was the last to be attempted that day, with Dylan and a variety of session musicians having successfully recorded master takes of „It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” and „Tombstone Blues” earlier. The studio band on „Positively 4th Street” featured Robert Gregg (drums), Russ Savakus (bass), Frank Owens (piano), Al Kooper (organ) and Mike Bloomfield (guitar), with the song initially being logged on the studio's official recording session documentation under the working title of „Black Dalli Rue”.
Although the song was recorded during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions, it was saved for a single-only release, eventually charting in the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic. Some early copies of the „Positively 4th Street” single were mis-pressed, with an outtake version of „Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” (a song that Dylan would release as his next single) appearing on the A-side in place of „Positively 4th Street”. Critic Dave Marsh praised the song as „an icy hipster bitch session” with „Dylan cutting loose his barbed-wire tongue at somebody luckless enough to have crossed the path of his desires.” The song would later be included on the U.S. version of Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, as well as the compilation albums Masterpieces, Biograph, and The Essential Bob Dylan. It was also used in director Todd Haynes' 2007 film, I'm Not There.
In 1989 a Bristol music promoter purchased an old KB Discomatic jukebox that had once belonged to John Lennon during the mid-1960s. A copy of Dylan's „Positively 4th Street” single was found among the 41 7” singles loaded onto the machine. As a result, the song appears on the John Lennon's Jukebox compilation album, which was released to coincide with the publicity surrounding the jukebox's unveiling and a South Bank Show documentary about the jukebox.
The song was released between the albums, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde, as the follow-up to Dylan's hit single „Like a Rolling Stone”, but wasn't included on either LP. The song's title does not appear anywhere in the lyrics and there has been much debate over the years as to the significance or whereabouts of the 4th Street mentioned in the song's title.