Not Dark Yet


"Not Dark Yet" is a song by Bob Dylan, originally released as a single on August 25, 1997 and also on the album, Time Out of Mind released on September 30, 1997. It was covered by Dave Gahan and Soulsavers and is the eleventh track on Imposter.


(from original recording)

Shadows are fallin' and I've been here all day
It's too hot to sleep and time is runnin' away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal
There's not even room enough to be anywhere
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there
Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writin' what was in her mind
I just don't see why I should even care
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there
Well, I've been to London and I been to gay Paris
I've followed the river and I got to the sea
I've been down on the bottom of the world full of lies
I ain't lookin' for nothin' in anyone's eyes
Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there
I was born here and I'll die here against my will
I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still
Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there

Dave's Take

Dave talks about this song in this video at the 11:10 mark:

My Take

I can't tell you how excited I am to know that Dave is going to be covering a song written by one of the most masterful modern songwriters on the planet! Yet, I can see Dave making this song unequivocally his own when he sings it, simply because so many of the themes here apply to his life. It's a bit unnerving, though, when exploring further into the meaning of the song, especially since so many have viewed it as one about confronting one's mortality in old age. And then, further asking the question about what this has to with Dave and why it resonated with him is...well, uncomfortable to think about, honestly. But here's something to chew on...Bob Dylan wrote this song when he was around 55 years old. Dave is now, I guess what I'm trying to say is, these guys had/have no business thinking they're nearing the end of their lives here! I mean, look at Bob Dylan- he is 80 years old now and still writing and performing music! Anyway, I sound like I'm chastising but I say these things as teasingly yet lovingly as possible. But that's enough of that dark talk, though oddly appropriate in this context. Anyway, even if Dave hasn't admitted it out loud, I hear a huge Bob Dylan influence in pretty much all of his Soulsavers works, so I feel like him doing this is a nice way to make things come full circle.

Oh man, Dave's voice just shines here...I think he has hit the jackpot with this one! The dexterity and feeling packed into his vocals here remind me of another stellar performance of his when he paid homage to David Bowie's "Heroes"; like that performance, one can tell that this song also means a lot to him. His band did a great job on the instrumentation here, as well, augmenting the original sounds and making it sound so much bigger and brighter without destroying the original spirit. It's easy to become absorbed and enthralled by Dave's vocal process and approach to covering other people's works, but I've also gotta wonder at and appreciate how the rest of his bandmates approach these covers and how difficult certain decisions can be to make. For example, if the original uses lots of strings, how does one decide to replace those sounds with just a simple little piano instead? Or if only acoustic instruments are employed, how does one decide that going full-on electronic is appropriate? We are nearing the end of this album review and I have to admit, Soulsavers has surprised me a few times with their choice of instruments on some of these songs...and they are mostly good surprises.

Music Video

There is no music video for this song.