My Top 1000 Songs #282: I'll Keep It With Mine
The pretty, heart-warming ballad "I'll Keep It With Mine" started out as a relatively minor Bob Dylan song, one which he never released in final form, though various rough takes ultimately circulated on reissue packages. (There's a nice, albeit incomplete, full-band rehearsal recorded during the Blonde on Blonde sessions which showed up on his Bootleg Series releases.)
But like many of Dylan's best songs, his version is merely a blueprint for some wonderful covers to which I'm far more favorably inclined. This one was first covered in 1965 by Judy Collins, and a few years later he offered it to Velvet Underground singer Nico, who recorded a sparse and spooky version on her 1967 Chelsea Girl LP.
But my personal favorite (closely hewing musically to Nico's arrangement) showed up on the Rainy Day album, a 1984 one-off side-project featuring members of various Paisley Underground bands, including the Bangles, Rain Parade, Dream Syndicate, and the Three O'Clock. Bangle Susanna Hoffs delivers a simply stunning vocal performance, endlessly endearing, accompanied by guitarist David Roback and violinist Will Glenn (both of Rain Parade, Opal, and perhaps most successfully Mazzy Star, and both sadly deceased) and bassist Michael Quercio (Three O'Clock). Unfortunately, the Rainy Day album is long out-of-print, though I've gladly shared copies with friends over the years.
Here's the Rainy Day/Hoffs version:Dylan circa '66:Nico:Bettie Serveert:Dean & Britta: