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Faces in the Street
1974-01-07, Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
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"Wedding Song" is a bad song to play at your wedding.
True, it appears Dylan practically titled it for that very purpose. Unlike Nick Cave who could practically fill a concert with all his "____ Song" songs (Weeping, Witness, Hammer, Ship, etc…), Dylan gave a song a title so on-the-nose. And the bait and switch you might expect from him never comes. Sure enough, it's a wedding song through and through.
But it's a kind of creepy wedding song. Without stretching at all, the entire thing could be sung from the point of a view of a stalker. That might not have been Dylan's intention. Rumor has been he wrote it for his wife, possibly as an attempt to keep their marriage together as it began to fray (it didn't work). But lines like "I'd sacrifice the world for you and watch my senses die" sounds obsessive. Don’t put that in your vows.
As you no doubt guessed, Dylan played "Wedding Song" at this 1974 show - for the first time ever, debuting it halfway through his solo set. Given that the Planet Waves recording is itself solo acoustic - no Band - live it doesn't sound dramatically different than on record. But something in the way he sang it in Philadelphia fits the stalker interpretation even more than the album version. He's yelling the words louder, sounding desperate and unhinged. A bad vibe for your wedding.
Dylan played “Wedding Song” on and off through the end of this tour, then never touched it again. Maybe that's an argument for the biographical interpretation: once the marriage dissolved, so did his interest in "Wedding Song." It's not like he's busting out "Sara" much these days either.