We’re choosing a few songs that have particular resonance at this challenging time. This time, we’re going with Bob Dylan’s Lord Protect My Child, recorded on May 2, 1983. Dylan decided not to include it in his Infidels album, but it appeared eight years’ later on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.
Reviewer Jonathan Lethem called the song “an achingly candid blues-plea which [provides] a rare glimpse of Bob Dylan-the-parent.” It is indeed a great blues song, with Dylan in fine form and you wonder why it didn’t make the cut on Infidels.
Anyway, I got to thinking about this song because my daughter is a doctor, currently caring for Covid-19 patients in an Intensive Care Unit in a hospital in central London. She’s right in the thick of things in this pandemic, and she’s very brave. But, as a parent, you can’t help but be concerned for her, even with all her PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). You pray with Dylan:
No matter what happens to me, no matter what my destiny
Lord, oh Lord, protect my child.
It’s what every parent feels about their children – no matter what happens to you, you just want your children – no matter what age they are – to be safe and to be happy.
I pray the same for you and your families.
Here’s Dylan’s album version and then a great version by Susan Tedsechi, who really does justice to the bluesy tones of the song.