Bob Dylan, 78, sends a 17-minute new song, what does he want to say to the world?

author:Beijing News

Original Yan Bugeng Beijing News Book Review Weekly Today

Written by | Yan Bu Geng

Bob Dylan, 78, who had planned to tour Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, next week, had to stay home due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19. As the pandemic claims the lives of many celebrities, some media outlets are also concerned about the safety of the Nobel Prize winner for his lyrics.

Unexpectedly, Bob Dylan released the new song "Murder Most Foul" on social networking sites. This new song is called "epic prose poem" by foreign media, and due to the fact that there are a large number of documentary citations of historical stories in the lyrics, it has triggered a wave of historical evidence in European and American media, fans and scholars.

Because the lyrics of the song begin with the assassination of Kennedy, weaving together the major musical, artistic and cultural events that followed the assassination, some commentators believe that Bob Dylan used this new song to re-examine the popular culture of the 20th century, and some commentators believe that he created this extraordinary epic song to appease the people of the world under the attack of the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, no matter how sad the world is, we should all hold together.

The title of Bob Dylan's new song posted on social networking sites is based on the phrase in Shakespeare's Hamlet: "The most despicable murder." This new song has aroused heated discussion in foreign media, not only because everyone pays attention to Bob Dylan under the epidemic, but also because the song is almost 17 minutes long, and it is also the first original innovative song he has launched in eight years. While releasing the new song, Bob Dylan also thanked fans for their long-term perseverance and reminded everyone to pay attention to safety protection. However, Bob Dylan did not say whether this was one of the new albums, which led to media speculation about the production of his new album.

Back in 1997, Bob Dylan had composed a 16-minute song called "Highland."


, included in the album Time Of Mind. During the production of the album, the head of the record company asked Dylan, "Is there a lite version?" Bob Dylan replied, "That's the lite version." "'Highland' is 16 minutes and 31 seconds, and now the song "The Most Despicable Murder" is 16 minutes and 56 seconds.

It's Bob Dylan's longest song to date, it's timed on my computer at 16:54 and replaced former champion "Highland" from the 1997 album Time out of Mind.


The 17-minute new song, which at first glance sounds melodic and the long lyrics loose, is more like Bob Dylan casually reciting a stream-of-consciousness prose poem to the sound of the piano and violin. The 17-minute-long lyric narration was called "epic prose poem" by foreign media. Under bob Dylan's unique voice, he returned to the American era when Kennedy was assassinated.

Bob Dylan, 78, sends a 17-minute new song, what does he want to say to the world?

President John F. Kennedy waved from the car about a minute before dallas was shot. Along with Kennedy were First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (right), Texas Governor John Connery and his wife, Nellie Connery.

Musician Schopp, who has worked with Bob Dylan

(Trapper Schoepp)

After hearing this new song that "does not conform to the structure of popular songs", he talked at length about his feelings to the media: through the history and background revealed by this song, compared to what is happening in the world today, you can see a pure Bob Dylan who uses the major cultural events of the past to express his views on the major cultural events that are happening at the moment: "For Dylan's generation, the Kennedy assassination shook their times. For our generation, the novel coronavirus and President Trump's presidency are defining moments. ”

In Sharp's view, it's a piece of music about music. After recounting the Kennedy assassination, the lyrics immediately present the major cultural events of the next decade, laying out important cultural scenes such as the Woodstock Festival, the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe. The lyrics of the whole song involve the historical story of 74 songs, as well as the historical stories of many movies, musicians, artists and celebrities.

The social shock caused by Kennedy's assassination, like a boulder smashing the windshield of American society, is also epoch-making for Bob Dylan's own life. Before Kennedy's assassination, he wrote a large number of protest songs; after that, he fled the stage of protest. Some believe that Bob Dylan's suspension of writing protest songs is related to the hallucinations of fear that accompanied Kennedy's death. On an earlier album, Bob Dylan had imagined "President Kennedy calling me" on the "Whatever Bob Dylan" album does.

Bob Dylan, 78, sends a 17-minute new song, what does he want to say to the world?

The lyrics of this new song, due to a large number of literature-style quotations, triggered a wave of historical evidence in the European and American media, fans and scholars. In the seventeen-minute narration, Bob Dylan not only expresses his attitude toward the Kennedy assassination, but also uses the lyrics to fully present the cultural climate and political landscape of the United States in the 1960s, and even recounts major social issues such as the countercultural movement after the assassination, the American film art and popular culture that arose after Kennedy's assassination.

Bob Dylan's epic new song has triggered an intellectual game in the European and American media, and the lyrics have been indexed. In the major media in Europe and the United States, the song also triggered a re-examination of the history of popular culture events and countercultural movements in the 1960s. The famous music media "Rolling Stone" specially produced a list of songs written after Kennedy's assassination. In addition, the famous Bob Dylan fan website "Expecting Rain" deliberately collects and organizes news reports and review articles on this epic new song in the major media around the world every day.

On Rolling Stone's website, editor Andy Greene has compiled twenty cultural events implicit in the lyrics for fans. On the basis of the finishing of "Rolling Stones", the author has added a certain degree of historical stories implied by the lyrics. Interestingly, in this epic new song, Bob Dylan directly quotes his new song at the end of the lyrics, bringing endless meaning to the song and Bob Dylan's reference.

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1. “Living in a nightmare on Elm Street”

Elm Avenue was the site of Kennedy's assassination. Fifteen years later, the American director Wes Craven

(Wes Craven)

Filmed the classic horror movie "Ghost Street"

(Nightmare onElm Street)

, tells the story of a perverted psychopath who slaughters a child in his sleep. Although Craven never commented on this, it is believed that the film's innuendo may not be entirely coincidental with Kennedy's assassination.

2. “Frankly,Miss Scarlett, I don’t give a damn”

The lyrics come from Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh's film Gone with the Wind. In Margaret Mitchell's original book, Butler says, "Honey, I don't care. "In the movie played by Clark Gable, Red Butler

(Rhett Butler)

Say, "Frankly, honey, I don't care. Here, Bob Dylan makes minor changes.

Bob Dylan, 78, sends a 17-minute new song, what does he want to say to the world?

Stills from Gone with the Wind.

3. “Tommy,can you hear me? I’m the Acid Queen”

These two sentences are from the 1969 rock song "Tommy"


, telling the story between a deaf and a wizard. In the story, Acid Queen intends to use psychedelics to have sex with them. However, I don't know what Bob Dylan's intentions are here.

4. “Wakeup, little Susie; let’s go for a drive”

WakeUp Little Susie is the music group Everly Brothers

(The Everly Brothers, consisting of Don Everly and Phil Everly)

A song. In 1960, Bob Dylan's girlfriend's name was Susie Rotolo. Here, Bob Dylan puns on the historical memory of the 1960s.

5. “I’m justa patsy like Patsy Cline”

Cuban-American Lee Harvey Oswald

(Lee Harvey Oswald)

, is believed to be the main culprit in the Kennedy assassination. After his arrest, he told the media that he was "nothing more than a scapegoat." In the history of country music pop, Pescie Klein

(Patsy Cline)

Hailed as the first day of the 1950s and 1960s, he was tragically killed in an aircraft accident in 1963.

6. “What’s new, pussycat?What’d I say?”

"What's newpussycat" is a famous British male singer Tom Jones

(Tom Jones)

popular songs. "What'd I Say" is Ray Charles

(Ray Charles)

A hit song in 1965. Ray Charles was a well-known American soul musician, pianist, pioneered rhythm and blues music, was one of the first people to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Rolling Stone Magazine listed him as the second of the "100 Greatest Artists". After his death in 2004, Ray Charles's life was adapted into the documentary Film The Soul Singer.

7. “Wolfman Jack, speaking in tongues”

Wolfman Jack was a legendary American radio personality who reached the pinnacle of his life in the 1960s. In 1973, he starred in George Lucas

(George Lucas)

The famous film "American Style Painting"

(American Graffiti)

, to shape himself as a cultural representative of the American screen era. Some commentators have said that if "Once Upon a Time in America" is a remembrance of the past of childhood America; then "American Style Painting" is a letter and pencil portrait of adolescent America, which shows the mental state and lifestyle of American youth in the early sixties.

Bob Dylan, 78, sends a 17-minute new song, what does he want to say to the world?

Stills from "American Style Painting".

8. “Take me to the place Tom Dooley was hung”

Tom Durra

(Tom Dula)

Was a Confederate veteran named Laura Foster for the murder

(Laura Foster)

He was convicted and hanged in 1968. Controversy over him still exists. Kingston Trio

(The KingstonTrio)

Inspired by this, he created Tom Dooley.

(Tom Dooley)

This song.

9. “Play ‘Please, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ ”

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood is an American singer by Nina Simon

(Nina Simone)

A song written in 1964. The following year, the famous British rock band The Animals adapted the cover for the blues rock version. Shortly after recording the song, Alan Price, keyboardist for The Animals, left the band.

In bob Dylan's 1965 UK tour documentary "Don't Look Back"

(Don’t Look Back)

In the middle, the two have appeared together. In 1961, Nina Simon released a folk-style album, House of the Rising Sun.

(House of theRising sun)

, which was covered by Bob Dylan and became the theme song of the Animal Protection Action.

10. “Play Don Henley, play Glenn Frey/Take it to the limit and let it go by”

Don Henry

(Don Henley)

and Glenn Frey

(Glenn Frey)

They are the main members of the Eagles, and most of the Eagles' hit songs are sung by them. Bassist Randy Meissner

(Randy Meisner)

He left the band in 1977 and his only performance with the band since was when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

11. “Play it for Carl Wilson, too/Looking far, far away down Gower Avenue”

Carl Wilson

(Carl Wilson)

He is one of the founding members of the famous band Beach Boys. In 1976, he sang Warren Zefang

(Warren Zevon)

The song "Outlaws Under the Roof"

(Desperados Under the Eaves)

The lyrics include "Look away down Gower Avenue, look away." Bob Dylan is a die-hard warren Zephan fan. Warren Zefang died on September 7, 2013, and Bob Dylan sang many of his songs in 2002.

12. “Play Etta James, too. Play ‘I’dRather Go Blind’ ?”

Eta James

(Etta James)

She is a legendary female singer in the American music scene, known as the "queen of a generation of spiritual singers", who has released 30 albums in her lifetime and won three Grammy Awards. In 1968, she married Ellington Jordan

(Ellington Jordan)

and Billy Foster

(Billy Foster)

Co-authored "I'd Rather Be Blind"

(I'd RatherGo Blind)

Won a huge success.

13. “Play ‘Blue Sky’; play Dickey Betts”

Blue Sky

(Blue Sky)

It's the Auman Brothers

(The AllmanBrothers Band)

A song from the album Eat Peaches, released in 1972. This is Duane Auman

(Duane Allman)

One of his last works before his death in 1971 due to a motorcycle accident. But as Dylan puts it, it was played by guitarist Dickie Bates

(Dickey Betts)


14. “Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz”

The Bird Keeper of Alcatraz

(Birdman of Alcatraz)

It was made in 1962 by John Frankheimer

(John Frankenheimer)

Director, Bert Lancaster

(Burt Lancaster

Starred in the classic prison movie. It is based on real people and real events, and it is about the unruly young Robert Stroud

(Robert Stroud)

After being sentenced to life in prison, he became an internationally renowned ornithologist by carefully caring for sick birds in prison. Bob Dylan quotes here, perhaps because Robert Stroud died the day before Kennedy was assassinated. Also, Lewis

(C.S. Lewis)

and Adolphus Huxley

(Aldous Huxley)

He also died on the same day as Kennedy.

Bob Dylan, 78, sends a 17-minute new song, what does he want to say to the world?

Stills from Alcatraz's Bird Keeper.

15. “Play ‘Down In TheBoondocks’ for Terry Malloy”

Terry Malloy

(Terry Malloy)

It's Marlon Brando

(Marlon Brando)

In the classic 1954 film The Docks

(On the Waterfront)

The docker played. "Lost in the Backcountry"

(Down In The Boondocks)

It's Billy Joe Roya

(Billie Joe Royal)

A 1965 song that he had featured in Bob Dylan's "Beauty like a Cloud"

(Blonde on Blonde)

The guitar is played in the MV.

Bob Dylan, 78, sends a 17-minute new song, what does he want to say to the world?

Stills from "The Docks".

16. “Play ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Memphis in June’ ”

"Love at Sea"

(Anything Goes)

is the theme song for a 1934 Broadway musical, with lyrics written by Cole Porter. Memphis in June

(Memphis in June)

It was Hoky Kamalke

(Hoagy Carmichael)

A song performed in 1945. In the 1985 single "Closely Related to My Heart"

(Tight Connection to My Heart)

Bob Dylan borrowed it when creating.

17. Play ‘Lonely at the Top’ and ‘Lonely Are the Brave'”

"It's a lot of places to stay"

(Lonely at the Top)

It has been used by many singers in lyrics. Bob Dylan's lyrics in Beyond the Horizon also use this line: It's lonely atthe top. 1962, according to Edward Abby

(Edward Abbey)

Of the novel Brave Cowboy

(Brave Cowboy)

Filming of the Western film "How Lonely Heroes From Ancient Times"

(Lonely Are the Brave)

Released by Kirk Douglas

(Kirk Douglas)


18. “Play ‘Love Me or Leave Me’ by the great Bud Powell”

Balder Powell

(Bud Powell)

An innovative jazz pianist in the 1950s and 1960s, he died of tuberculosis in 1966 at the age of 41. "Love Me Don't Hurt Me"

(Love Me or Leave Me)

It was the 1928 Broadway play "Whoa! 》


Songs in! From Ruth Ethan

(Ruth Etting)

To Nina Simon

To Ella Fitzgeral

(Ella Fitzgerald)

And so on, all covered the song, but did not leave a singing version of Balder Powell.

19 . “Play ‘Marching Through Georgia’ and ‘Dumbarton’s Drums’ ”

Military Georgia

(MarchingThrough Georgia)

It is a revolutionary song from the American Civil War. Dumbarton's Drums

(Dumbarton’s Drums)

is an 18th century Scottish song.

20. “Play ‘The Blood-StainedBanner,’ play ‘Murder Most Foul’ ”

Blood Flag

(The Blood-Stained Banner)

It was the third official flag of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. On March 4, 1865, just before the end of the war, Colonel Arthur Rogers suggested placing a red vertical strip on the flag. The Most Despicable Murder

(Murder Most Foul)

It is the title of this epic new song, and Bob Dylan quotes his song at the end, which means a lot.

Appendix "Murder Most Foul" lyrics

[Verse 1]

It was a darkday in Dallas, November '63

A day thatwill live on in infamy

PresidentKennedy was a-ridin'high

Good day tobe livin' anda good dayto die

Being ledto the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb

He said,"Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?"

"Of coursewe do, we know who you are!"

Then theyblew off his head while he was still in the car

Shot downlike a dog in broad daylight

Was amatter of timing and the timing was right

You gotunpaid debts, we've come to collect

We're gonnakill you with hatred, without any respect

We'll mockyou and shock you and we'll put it in your face

We'vealready got someone here to take your place

The daythey blew out the brains of the king

Thousandswere watching, no one saw a thing

It happenedso quickly, so quick, by surprise

Right therein front of everyone's eyes

Greatestmagic trick ever under the sun

Perfectlyexecuted, skillfully done

Wolfman, ohWolfman, oh Wolfman, howl

Rub-a-dub-dub,it's a murder most foul

[Verse 2]

Hush,little children, you'll understand

The Beatlesare comin', they're gonna hold your hand

Slide downthe banister, go get your coat

Ferry'cross the Mersey and go for the throat

There'sthree bums comin' all dressed in rags

Pick up thepieces and lower the flags

I'm goin'to Woodstock, it's the Aquarian Age

Then I'llgo over to Altamont and sit near the stage

Put yourhead out the window, let the good times roll

There's aparty going on behind the Grassy Knoll

Stack upthe bricks, pour the cement

Don't sayDallas don't love you, Mr. President

Put yourfoot in the tank and then step on the gas

Try to makeit to the triple underpass

Blackfacesinger, whiteface clown

Better notshow your faces after the sun goes down

Up in thered light district, they've got cop on the beat

Living in anightmare on Elm Street

When you'redown on Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe

Don't askwhat your country can do for you

Cash on thebarrelhead, money to burn

DealeyPlaza, make a left-hand turn

I'm goingdown to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride

The placewhere faith, hope, and charity died

Shoot himwhile he runs, boy, shoot him while you can

See if youcan shoot the invisible man

Goodbye,Charlie! Goodbye, Uncle Sam!

Frankly,Miss Scarlett, I don't give a damn

What is thetruth, and where did it go?

Ask Oswaldand Ruby, they oughta know

"Shutyour mouth," said a wise old owl

Business isbusiness, and it's a murder most foul

[Verse 3]

Tommy, canyou hear me? I'm the Acid Queen

I'm ridingin a long, black Lincoln limousine

Ridin' inthe back seat next to my wife

Headedstraight on in to the afterlife

I'm leaningto the left, I got my head in her lap

Hold on,I've been led into some kind of a trap

Where weask no quarter, and no quarter do we give

We're rightdown the street, from the street where you live

They mutilatedhis body and they took out his brain

What morecould they do? They piled on the pain

But hissoul was not there where it was supposed to be at

For thelast fifty years they've been searchin' for that

Freedom, ohfreedom, freedom over me

I hate totell you, mister, but only dead men are free

Send mesome lovin', then tell me no lie

Throw thegun in the gutter and walk on by

Wake up,little Susie, let's go for a drive

Cross theTrinity River, let's keep hope alive

Turn theradio on, don't touch the dials

ParklandHospital, only six more miles

You got medizzy, Miss Lizzy, you filled me with lead

That magicbullet of yours has gone to my head

I'm just apatsy like Patsy Cline

Never shotanyone from in front or behind

I've bloodin my eye, got blood in my ear

I'm nevergonna make it to the new frontier

Zapruder'sfilm I seen night before

Seen itthirty-three times, maybe more

It's vileand deceitful, it's cruel and it's mean

Ugliestthing that you ever have seen

They killedhim once and they killed him twice

Killed himlike a human sacrifice

The daythat they killed him, someone said to me, "Son

The age ofthe Antichrist has just only begun"

Air ForceOne comin' in through the gate

Johnsonsworn in at 2:38

Let me knowwhen you decide to throw in the towel

It is whatit is, and it's murder most foul

[Verse 4]

What's new,pussycat? What'd I say?

I said thesoul of a nation been torn away

And it'sbeginning to go into a slow decay

And thatit's thirty-six hours past Judgment Day

WolfmanJack, he's speaking in tongues

He's goingon and on at the top of his lungs

Play me asong, Mr. Wolfman Jack

Play it forme in my long Cadillac

Play methat "Only the Good Die Young"

Take me tothe place Tom Dooley was hung

Play"St. James Infirmary" and the Court of King James

If you wantto remember, you better write down the names

Play EttaJames, too, play "I'd Rather Go Blind"

Play it forthe man with the telepathic mind

Play JohnLee Hooker, play "Scratch My Back"

Play it forthat strip club owner named Jack

Guitar Slimgoing down slow

Play it forme and for Marilyn Monroe

[Verse 5]

Play"Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"

Play it forthe First Lady, she ain't feeling any good

Play DonHenley, play Glenn Frey

Take it tothe limit and let it go by

Play it forCarl Wilson, too

Lookingfar, far away down Gower Avenue

Playtragedy, play "Twilight Time"

Take meback to Tulsa to the scene of the crime

Playanother one and "Another One Bites the Dust"

Play"The Old Rugged Cross" and "In God We Trust"

Ride thepink horse down that long, lonesome road

Stand thereand wait for his head to explode

Play"Mystery Train" for Mr. Mystery

The man whofell down dead like a rootless tree

Play it forthe reverend, play it for the pastor

Play it forthe dog that got no master

Play OscarPeterson, play Stan Getz

Play"Blue Sky," play Dickey Betts

Play ArtPepper, Thelonious Monk

CharlieParker and all that junk

All thatjunk and "All That Jazz"

Playsomething for the Birdman of Alcatraz

Play BusterKeaton, play Harold Lloyd

Play BugsySiegel, play Pretty Boy Floyd

Play thenumbers, play the odds

Play"Cry Me a River" for the Lord of the gods

Play Numbernine, play Number six

Play it forLindsey and Stevie Nicks

Play NatKing Cole, play "Nature Boy"

Play"Down in the Boondocks" for Terry Malloy

Play"It Happened One Night" and "One Night of Sin"

There'stwelve million souls that are listening in

Play"Merchant of Venice", play "Merchants of Death"

Play"Stella by Starlight" for Lady Macbeth

Don'tworry, Mr. President, help's on the way

Yourbrothers are comin', there'll be hell to pay

Brothers? What brothers? What's this about hell?

Tell them,"We're waiting, keep coming," we'll get them as well

Love Fieldis where his plane touched down

But itnever did get back up off the ground

Was a hardact to follow, second to none

They killedhim on the altar of the rising sun

Play"Misty" for me and "That Old Devil Moon"

Play"Anything Goes" and "Memphis in June"

Play"Lonely at the Top" and "Lonely Are the Brave"

Play it forHoudini spinning around in his grave

Play JellyRoll Morton, play "Lucille"

Play"Deep in a Dream", and play "Driving Wheel"

Play"Moonlight Sonata" in F-sharp

And "AKey to the Highway" for the king on the harp

Play"Marching Through Georgia" and "Dumbarton's Drums"

Play darknessand death will come when it comes

Play"Love Me or Leave Me" by the great Bud Powell

Play"The Blood-Stained Banner", play "Murder Most Foul"

Body references:

Author:Yan Bugeng;

EDIT: Walk around;

Proofreader: Chen Diyan

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