100 Greatest Bob Dylan Songs

From "Just Like a Woman" to "John Wesley Harding," we count down the American icon's key masterpieces

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83. "Nettie Moore" (2006)

"I just let the lyrics go, and ... they seemed to have an ancient presence," Dylan told Rolling Stone in describing the writing of his primordially rootsy 2006 album, Modern Times. On "Nettie Moore," he spins lines from Marshall Pike and James Lord Piermont's 1857 song "Gentle Nettie Moore" and the folk traditional "Moonshiner" into one of his most personal songs ever; Dylan is the world-weary leader of a "cowboy band" longing for his lover back home to help him cope with sins, misinformation, unfinished business and bad-luck women. "I'd walk through a blazing fire, baby," he croons, "if I knew you was on the other side."

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