Bob Dylan sings ‘I Dreamed I Saw Saint Augustine’s’


I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” is a song by Bob Dylan that was originally released on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding. It was recorded at the first John Wesley Harding session on October 17, 1967.[1] It has been covered by many artists, including Joan Baez, Vic Chesnutt, John Doe, Thea Gilmore, Adam Selzer and Dirty Projectors.[2] In addition, Jimi Hendrix at one point intended to cover this song, but felt it was too personal to Dylan and instead covered a different song from the album, “All Along the Watchtower“.[3]

“I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” is a pensive ballad.[4] Like the rest of the John Wesley Harding album, the music of “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” uses spare, unobtrusive musical accompaniment.[4] The primary instruments are an acoustic guitar and drums.[4] The lyrics describe a dream that is enigmatic and subject to interpretation.[4] However, the lyrics do convey a deeply felt sense of guilt, as well as a vision of faith, righteousness, fear and betrayal.[4][5] The sense of guilt is particularly prevalent in the final verse:[4]

“I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive, with fiery breath
And I dreamed I was amongst the ones that put him out to death
Oh, I awoke in anger, so alone and terrified
I put my fingers against the glass
And bowed my head and cried.”












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