By Charles Layton
There’s a moment in the movie “Silver Linings Playbook” when the couple’s relationship starts to turn from semi-pathological to something approaching warmth. The soundtrack signals this mood change with a song that’s totally unexpected: The Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash duet version of “Girl From the North Country.”
I was thrilled when that song started to play in the movie. It was probably my favorite song from Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” album. He and Cash sang it as if they were just sitting around on the front porch strumming their guitars. They even stumbled over the lyrics occasionally, as when Cash sang “please say hello” while Dylan sang “remember me,” but those little goofs give the performance a nice homespun quality.
Dylan wrote the song in the early 60s and first recorded it on his album “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” which came out in 1963. The song owes a lot to “Scarborough Fair,” especially the line “remember me to one who lives there…”