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What’s it Like When Bob Dylan Writes About You? Alicia Keys Explains

Bob Dylan Alicia Keys
Kevin Winter / Christopher Polk, Getty Images

So what is it like to have the legendary Bob Dylan name-check you in one of his songs? According to R&B superstar Alicia Keys, it is an honor …and just a little bit odd as well.

The song in question, ‘Thunder On The Mountain’, was featured on Dylan’s 2006 record ‘Modern Times.’ In the song, Dylan sings “I was thinkin’ ’bout Alicia Keys, couldn’t keep from crying / But she was born in Hell’s Kitchen, I was living down the line / I’m wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be / I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee.”

It was Keys’ record label mate John Mayer that initially told her about the song.

“He texted me saying, ‘You’re never gonna believe this…Bob Dylan wrote a song about you.’ It’s a mind-blower and an honor. And then another part of me is wondering what he was thinking,” Keys tells Mojo magazine.

“Maybe he read something about me and it said when I was born and he got to thinking where he was in his life back then,” she continues. “I’m not sure what line he was living down then, but I know he knows, and he knows what it all means.”

The media-shy Dylan hasn’t exactly been quick to clarify exactly how or why Keys became such a central part of ‘Thunder On The Mountain’. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he told the magazine that after having been on a Grammy Awards show with Keys, he reportedly told himself ‘There’s nothing about that girl I don’t like.’”

Being a Dylan fan, Keys was humbled with his paying homage to her.  She even covered his 1980 song ‘Pressing On’ (from ‘Saved’) for a music documentary.

“I’m glad I’m in Bob Dylan’s songbook…I hope to meet him one day.”

Next: Top 10 Bob Dylan Songs of the Last 20 Years

Bob Dylan Sings About Alicia Keys on ‘Thunder on the Mountain’

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