Susan Elizabeth Rotolo died last Friday. Her remains were cremated at Green-Wood on Saturday.

Though few would recognize her name, she did have her moment of fame. From 1961 into 1964, she was Bob Dylan’s girlfriend. She is the woman, with Dylan, on the cover of his album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” released by Columbia Records in 1963. In 1962, she went off to study at the University of Perugia in Italy, and Dylan wrote two love songs inspired by her leaving: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” and “Tomorrow is a Long Time.”

Dylan first performed “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village. Here are the lyrics:

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don’t matter, anyhow
An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don’t know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin’ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road
Still I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin’ anyway
So don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
Like you never did before
It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
I can’t hear you anymore
I’m a-thinkin’ and a-wond’rin’ all the way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So I’ll just say fare thee well
I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

Copyright © 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music

Rotolo, a self-described “red diaper” baby–her parents were radicals–had strong political views, and those greatly influenced Dylan’s early songs. Her book, A Freewheelin Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties, was published in 2008. She was long active in civil rights work and taught at the Parsons School of Design. She was 67 years old.

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