"Ballad of Easy Rider" is a song written by Roger McGuinn with input from Bob Dylan (although Dylan is not credited as a co-writer) for the 1969 film, Easy Rider. The song was initially released in August 1969 on the Easy Rider soundtrack album as a Roger McGuinn solo performance. It was later issued in an alternate version as a single by McGuinn's band The Byrds on October 1, 1969. The Byrds' single reached #65 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was issued in most international territories, although it was not released in the United Kingdom. Senior editor for Rolling Stone magazine David Fricke has described the song as perfectly capturing the social mood of late 1969 and highlighting "the weary blues and dashed expectations of a decade's worth of social insurrection."
The star and script writer of Easy Rider, Peter Fonda, had initially intended to use Bob Dylan's song "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" in the film but after failing to license the track, Fonda asked Roger McGuinn of The Byrds to record a cover version of the song instead. Fonda also wanted Dylan to write the film's theme song but Dylan declined, quickly scribbling the lines - "The river flows, it flows to the...