Bob Dylan - Tomorrow Is A Long Time

It’s hard to know why this song didn’t make it onto the Freewheelin’ album in early 1963. Or why it didn’t make the cut on any of Dylan’s subsequent records until Greatest Hits Vol. II was released in 1971. How does a song that never made a proper album then go on to be a part of a greatest hits compilation? Only with Dylan would this happen is your answer. Yet another strange and unpredictable decision from a man whose unparalleled mystic has been defined by such nuance.

That shouldn’t suggest that ‘tomorrow is a long time’ doesn’t belong on a greatest hits record, it most certainly does. Although, I generally hate greatest hits records–sloppy ways of making a quick buck, and in turn effacing the near-on sacred concept of the ‘album’. Let’s just say then that ‘tomorrow is a long time’ is an awe inspiring track, worthy of placement on any one of Dylan’s records. It was however lost in time for a substantial period. Buried under the mass of Witmark Demos that were only dusted off and unearthed years later to the benefit of us all.

‘Tomorrow is a long time’ finds Dylan in his most introspective guise. These were the days before confidence permeated and blared through his voice and lyrics. He is unsure sounding, his voice is quiet and the string plucking soft. The result is Bob Dylan at his most vulnerable, and arguably his most appealing.

Posted: January 13, 2013


  1. moore mcilhatton says:

    I think it was just too personal and painful a song for him at that time.

  2. jzsnake says:

    You know the funny thing is I got turned onto Dylan while driving with a buddy of mine as he continued to play an 8 track of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume 1.

  3. Pig River Records says:

    It is the live version that was released on Masterpieces and Greatest Hits Vol II.
    It is actually only 3 minutes it just loops through twice.

    • Brian O'Connell says:

      Perhaps Dylan wanted the song on the Greatest Hits Vol 11 album because of his fondness for Elvis Presley’s version.

      • Pig River Records says:

        I read somewhere that of all the covers of his songs – Presley doing Tomorrow Is A Long Time is his most treasured. So maybe you are right!

  4. Albert says:

    Hey, what version is the one of that Youtube video? Because the Witmark Demos one is just 3 minutes long, not 5.


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