I can still see the day that you came to me on the painted desert
In your busted down Ford and your platform heels

from Bob Dylan – Brownsville Girl Lyrics on Rap Genius


The woman here — addressed as “you” throughout the song — provides a connection to Shepard’s other work. In Katherine Weiss' essay “… long before the stars were torn down…”: Sam Shepard and Bob Dylan’s “Brownsville Girl”, she writes:

“Brownsville Girl” bears many of Shepard’s and Dylan’s trademarks: popular culture references to the old West and Westerns (in this case the 1950 classic The Gunfighter), the presence of a mysterious woman, and a journey leading to disappointment [emphasis ours]

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