“That was an inspired song that came to me. I felt like I was just putting down words that were coming from somewhere else, and I just suck it out.” Dylan of the genesis of “Every Grain Of Sand”
“‘Every Grain of Sand‘ is the most Leonard Cohen-ish song Bob Dylan ever wrote.” My friend John made that statement yesterday and (if forced to compare the two artists work) I’d have to say I get where he’s coming from. Among other notables the track holds the dubious honor of acting as a sort of saving grace (dig that pun, Dylan freaks) of the 1981 Shot Of Love LP; an album that found Dylan at the tail end of his “Born Again” period. Yet “Grain Of Sand” transcends any one faith — and in doing so therein lies its enduring power.
Further Listening: There is a great, early, rough demo of “Every Grain Of Sand” found on Dylan’s The Bootleg Series Volumes 1—3 complete with female vocal accompaniment and a barking dog.