While critics are quick to point out the “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window” is a lesser relative of other “put down” songs like “Positively Fourth Street” and “Like A Rolling Stone” there is no denying the confidence Dylan had in the track in addition to the vibrant instrumentation added by the fledgling “Hawks”. Though “Window” only reached number 58 on the charts, it still had an effect on music and musicians alike. Jimi Hendrix would perform his own version of the song in concert and on the BBC. He also admitted, according to Robbie Robertson that he loved the song’s central guitar lick and “copped” it for the Experience’s own version.
Lyrically the song is typical Dylan, insulting yet obtuse,
just out of arms reach. The song could be about any number of Dylan fiends,
associates or hangers on, but the ‘rock room’ agrees with the assumptions that
the content could be about Edie Sedgwick. One gets the sense that the lyrics
feature Dylan and/or the narrator inquiring with the female to empower
herself against any or a specific domineering male (Andy Warhol).
Alternatively, it could refer to any female in Dylan’s orbit who Dylan has been
subjected to the narrator's or specifically Dylan’s own wounded ways.
"While his genocide fools and his friends rearrange their religion of little tin women". Dylan is commenting on the dynamics of an abusive relationship, either one he is witness to, or one he has taken part in. Proof is found in an additional stanza: "He just needs you to talk or to hand him his chalk, or pick it up after he throws it". In a fashion that is purely Dylan, we cannot be ever be sure of the subject or their connection to the author as the narrative is witnessed (in this case) through glassy eyes and sliced up imagery.
It is here that the Dylan and the Hawks’ aesthetic reveals itself in all its quicksilver glory. Manuel’s piano rock and rolls out the chord changes while Dylan’s rhythm work is kinetic scribbling underneath Richard’s thumping left hand. The double barrel piano and keyboard attack swirl through the crooked window frame ajar. Gregg and Danko keeps the slanted verses delicately balanced with a honky-tonk groove allowing Dylan the freedom to undulate. Danko is especially active with ascending fretwork under each verse.