Spanish is the Loving Tongue

Charles Badger Clark
Recorded by Bob Dylan Apr 1969, and released by Columbia on the fake Dylan-album Dylan (1973), in what's a contender to the title “Dylan's most tasteless arrangement” (but they seem to be having fun. . .).
Also recorded in a wonderful piano version, and played live during the Rolling Thunder Revue (1976)
Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem


Dylan version

[a cappella:]

C         G      F    C
Broke her heart, lost my own
   G  Dm     C
Adios mi corazon
C          G7 F           C
 Spanish is    the loving tongue
C        G7     F        G7
 Soft as music, light as spray
C            G7 F             C
 'Twas a girl    I learned it from
        G7     F G7 C       Csus2
 Living down Sonora way
      C       G7        F      C
 Well I don't look much like a lover
C       G7  F                G7
Still I say  her loved words over
C       G7   F         C
 Mostly when  I'm all alone!
C   G7    F   G7 Csus4   C  Csus2 C
 Mi amor, Mi corazn
      C                                       G7
La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la-la-la.
      G7                                      C
La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la-la-la.
      C                                       G7
La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la-la-la.
      G7                                      C
La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la.
Haven't seen her since that night,
I can't cross the line, you know.
They want me for the gamblin' fight
Like as not it's better so.
Still I've always kind of missed her
Since that last sad night I kissed her;
Broke her heart, lost my own
"Adios, mi corazon.

Broke her heart, lost my own
"Adios, mi corazon.

"Adios, mi corazon.
|---1---0h1p0-------------0---||
|---------------1----3--------||
|---2---0-----------------0---||
|---------------2----3--------||
|-----------------------------||
|-----------------------------||

Rolling Thunder Revue version

Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, Texas, May 11, 1976

G          C
 Spanish is the loving tongue
G              D              C
 Soft as music, light as spray
G            C
 'Twas a girl I learned it from
G            Am7    G        C/g G
 Living down Sonora way
G        D   C            G     C/g G
 I don't look much like a lover
G        Bm   Am7
 Still I hear  those loved words over
G       D    Am7
 Mostly when  I'm all alone!
G   Bm   Am7     G
 Mi amor, Mi corazn
On the nights that I would ride
She would listen for my spurs,
Throw that big door open wide,
G           Bm       Am7     G
Raise those laughing eyes of hers.
Oh, how the hours would go a-flyin!
All too soon I'd hear her sighin'
G      Bm        Am7
In her sweet and quiet tone
"Mi amor, mi corazon."
But I had to fly one time
All 'cause of a stupid gamblin' fight,
And so we said a swift goodbye
On that dark, unlucky night.
How oftentimes to me she's clingin'
And in my ears the hoofsbeats ringin',
As I galloped north alone
"Adios, mi corazon."
G       Bm  Am7
Haven't seen her since that night,
I can't cross the line, you know.
G       Bm Am7
She was Mex and I was white;
Like as not it's better so.
G          D     Am7      G         C/g G
Still I've always kind of missed her
Since that last wild night I kissed her;
G           Bm    Am7
I broke her heart, lost my own
"Adios, mi corazon."

Additional verses, not sung by Dylan on this occasion:

Moonlight on the patio,
Old señora nodding near,
Me and Juana talking low
So the Madre couldn't hear.
Oh, how the hours would go a-flyin!
And too soon i'd hear her sighin'
In her little sorry tone
"Adios, mi corazon."

Outtake version

Recorded June 2, 1970 (New Morning sessions)

One of the most beautiful tracks Dylan has ever recorded, and certainly the best version of this song, ever, with superbly loose piano playing.
The rhythm is at times a bit... eccentric – don't expect the rigours of the barlines to coincide with the phrasing.
It is played in Ab major, so the best option on a guitar is to put a capo on the first fret and play in G.
The chord that I have called Bm seems at times to be played Bm7+5 (x2403x), at times even as a G/b.

D11 = xx0010
G        Bm     C      G
 Spanish is the loving tongue
G        Bm     Am      D     D11
 Soft as music, light as spray
G        Bm     C          G
 'Twas a girl I learned it from
G       Bm     C  D11 G     Gsus4 G
 Living down Sonora   way

G        Bm        C      G
 I don't look much like a lover
G        Bm       C           D    D11
 Still I hear her loved words over
G       Bm       C  /b G
 Mostly when I'm all a-lone!
G    D       Am7 G
 Mi amor, Mi corazón
  G   D   C   G     C G   C               C/g G         C   G   C G Am G
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-10--10--8---7---|-3-3---0---------|-----3---3-----------------------------|
|-12--10--8---8---|-5-3---1---------|-----1---0-----------------------------|
|-12--11--9---7---|-5-4---0-0-------|-----0---0-----------------------------|
|-----------------|-------2-----2---|-----2---0---------2---0---------------|
|-----------------|-----------------|---------------------------3--2-0------|
|-----------------|-----------------|-3-------------3-------------------3---|
G                  C       G
On the nights that I would ride          *) |------------------
G   Bm    C                  Am  *)         |--------0---------
She would listen for my spurs,              |---------2--0-----
G          Bm       C    G                  |------2---2---2---
Throw that big door open wide,              |-0----------------
C     Em    Am       D11                    |------------------
Raise those laughing eyes of hers.     '
|-5---5---2---0----|      |-----------------|
|-3----------------|      |-----------------|
|-----5---4---2----|      |-2---2-----------|
|------------------|  or  |-0-------4---2---|
|------------------|      |-----3---2---0---|
|------------------|      |-----------------|
G              Bm    C     G    C
 Oh, how those hours would go a-flyin!
G       Bm           C        D     D11
All too soon I would hear her sighin'
G      Bm   C          G
In her sweet and quiet tone
G         Bm   D11      G
  "Mi amor, mi corazon."
  G                     G   D   C     G   C   Em     Am7
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .      :   .   .   .
|-----------------|-----10--10--8---|-7---3---3--0-|-----3---3---3---|
|-----0---0---0---|-----12--10--8---|-8---5---5--3-|-----1---1---1---|
|-----0---0---0---|-0---12--11--9---|-7---5---4----|-----2---2---2---|
|-----0---0---0---|-----------------|--------------|-----2---2---2---|
|-----------------|-----------------|--------------|-0---------------|
|-3---------------|-----------------|--------------|-----------------|
  G                     C/g                             G     Am
  :   .   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-----3---3---3---3---|-----3---3---3---|-3---3---3---|-3-----0----------|
|-----0---0---0---0---|-----1---1---1---|-----1---5---|-3-----1----------|
|-----0---0---0---0---|-----0---0---0---|-----0---5---|-4-----2---0------|
|-----0---0---0---0---|-----2---2---2---|-----2-------|--------------2---|
|---------------------|-----------------|-------------|------------------|
|-3-------------------|-3---------------|-------------|------------------|
  D               C     Em    Am          D                                   G
  :   .   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :
|-----------10----3---|-3-----0---------|-----------------|-------2-------2-|-3---
|---------7-------5---|-5-----1---------|-----------------|-----3-------3---|-0---
|-----7-----------5---|-4-----2---0-----|-----------------|---2-------2-----|-0---
|-0-------------------|-------------2---|-0---0---0---0---|-0-------0-------|-0---
|---------------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-2---
|---------------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-3---
G           Bm C                             G
 Haven't seen, haven't seen her since that night,
G         Bm/f#            C                   D   D11
  I can't cross, I can't cross the line, you know.
G                 Bm C             G
   They want me for    a gambeling fight
G         Bm      C        G
 Like as not it's better so.

G           Bm     C           G
 Still I've always  kind of missed her
G            Bm     C        Am
 Since that last sad night I kissed her
G             Bm    C          G
  I broke her heart, left my own
G      Bm D11        G
  "Adios,   mi corazon."
  G                         Bm  C     G   C   Em  Am7
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .
|-----------------|-----10--10--8---|-7---3---3---0---|---------|
|-----0---0---0---|-----12--12--8---|-8---5---5---1---|-1-------|
|-----0---0---0---|-0---12--11--9---|-7---5---4---2---|-0-----0-|
|-----0---0---0---|-----------------|-----------------|-2-2-----|
|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-0-------|
|-3---------------|-----------------|-----------------|---------|
..zon
  G   Bm  C   G     C    Am7 G
  :   .   .   .     :    .   .   .
|-----------------|--------------3----||
|-----3---1---0---|-1----1-------0----||
|-----4---0---0---|-0----0-------0----||
|-----4---2---0---|-2----2-------0----||
|-----------------|-3--2-0------------||
|-3---------------|----------3--------||

Another alternative for the descent, in a slightly better position, is:

  G   G   D   C     G   C   Em    Am7
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .     :   .
|-----------------|-------------|-----3----
|-----3---3---1---|-0---1---0---|-----1----
|-----4---0---0---|-0---0---0---|-----2----  etc, with
|-----5---4---2---|-0---2---2---|-----2----  variations
|-----------------|-----3---2---|-0--------
|-3---------------|-------------|----------