Let Me Die in My Footsteps
"Let Me Die in My Footsteps" is a song written by Bob Dylan in February 1962. The song was selected for the original sequence of Dylan's 1963 album THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN, but was replaced by "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall". This version was recorded at Columbia studios on April 25, 1962, during the first FREEWHEELIN' session. It is one of the four songs ("John Birch", "Let Me Die In My Footsteps", "Rambling Gambling Willie", "Rocks and Gravel") replaced with Dylan's newer compositions recorded in April ("Girl from the North Country", "Masters of War", "Talkin' World War III Blues", "Bob Dylan's Dream"). It was subsequently released in March 1991 on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991.
A later version, recorded as a demo for M. Witmark & Sons publishing company in December 1962, was released in October 2010 on THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 9 - THE WITMARK DEMOS : 1962-1964.
The song's first release, however, was in September 1963 on THE BROADSIDE BALLADS, VOL. 1, an album of topical songs compiled by folk musician Pete Seeger and Sis Cunningham, publisher of BROADSIDE magazine. This version was recorded on January 24, 1963, with Dylan performing as "Blind Boy Grunt" (for contractual reasons), backed by his friend Happy Traum. Broadside had published the song's lyrics under its original title, "I Will Not Go Down Under the Ground", in the magazine's third issue in April 1962.