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Bob Dylan: Murder Most Foul

Bob Dylan heeft een nieuw lied vrijgegeven: Murder Most Foul, over de moord op president Kennedy in 1963. Bob Dylan, geboren op 24 mei 1941 in Minnesota, is een Amerikaans zanger en schrijver. Hij heeft een groot repertoire, te vinden op zijn YouTube kanaal. Op 13 oktober 2016 werd hem de Nobelprijs voor Literatuur toegekend. Op 78-jarige leeftijd treedt hij nog altijd op. Dit jaar heeft hij al vijftien concerten moeten afzeggen wegens het Coronavirus. Bij deze enkele recensies, YouTube versies en de volledige tekst:

Bob Dylan “Murder Most Foul”

In the opening passages of “Murder Most Foul,” President Kennedy is fatally shot in his limousine as it ambles through the streets of Dallas. Dylan elevates that vehicle from a crime scene to a time machine that drives through the decades, soundtracked by icons of each era. “Turn the radio on; don’t touch the dials,” Dylan rasps atop a scaffold of piano and croaking bowed bass. He instructs “Wolfman Jack, ” the famed ’60s DJ, to play everything from Etta James, to The Animals, to Queen. “The Beatles are comin’; they’re gonna hold your hand,” Dylan sings, heralding the Fab Four’s single, which arrived Stateside roughly one month after Kennedy’s death. In Dylan’s epic, the Lincoln Continental becomes Kennedy’s mobile resting place, cruising past cultural milestones that seemed to sprout from historical unrest. Dylan acknowledges the assassination as “the soul of a nation being torn away” before listing off some of the most significant American art of the past 60 years. It’s the kind of biting contradiction that Dylan does best—and we’re glad he’s back to deliver.

Bob Dylan – Murder Most Foul (Official Audio) duurt 17 minuten.

What Bob Dylan Is Doing in “Murder Most Foul”

In announcing the song on Twitter early Friday morning, Dylan described it only as “an unreleased song we recorded a while back.” By the sound of it—both Dylan’s voice and the spare piano/upright bass/violin/drum arrangement—“Murder Most Foul” was recorded sometime in the past decade. The song’s reference to our searching for John F. Kennedy’s soul “for the last fifty years” might pin it to 2013, until we know better. Dylan last released original material on his album “Tempest,” from 2012. Ever since, he’s been covering the Great American Songbook, notably large portions of the Frank Sinatra catalogue. “Murder Most Foul” is the first evidence of original songwriting that we’ve had in eight years from one of the most original songwriters of our era.

Murder Most Foul – Bob Dylan 2020 (Lyric video)

Bob Dylan’s Murder Most Foul is a hypnotic and tender 17-minute track

The song’s title comes from Hamlet, uttered by the ghost of Hamlet’s father as it describes his death: “Murder most foul, as in the best it is/But this most foul, strange and unnatural.” The epic register continues with the biblical description of JFK “being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb”. But the metaphoric language proceeds to shift to that of a dimestore novel, with the president “shot down like a dog in broad daylight”. Hamlet shades into Dashiell Hammett, an American epic uniting high and low.

Bob Dylan – Murder Most Foul (Lyrics) | Music Cavier


What TIMING. Like a shot ricocheting at Heaven’s Door, Bob Dylan has released a stunning 17-minute masterpiece dissecting the assassination of JFK – exactly at midnight, EST.

For my generation – I was 9 when JFK was shot – this is a sucker punch. My eyes turned into a swimming pool revisiting all the memories. If there’s anything capable of sending a jolt across America in these times of trouble, this is it. The times, they are-a-changin’. Oh yes, they are.

There are so many nuggets in the lyrics they’re worthy of a thesis, tracking all the – mostly musical – references and interlocking Americana. I listened to it twice – and this is what I found, hopefully no serious mistakes. Sit back, turn on, tune in and go with the flow.


Bob Dylan

T’was a dark day in Dallas, November ’63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin’ and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He say, ‘wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?’
‘Of course we do, we know who you are’
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timin’ and the timin’ was right
You got unpaid debts we’ve come to collect
We gonna kill you with hatred, without any respect
We’ll mock you and shock you and we’ll grin in your face
We’ve already got someone here to take your place

The day they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching, no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly, so quick by surprise
Right there in front of everyone’s eyes
Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolf man, oh wolf man, oh wolf man howl
Rub-a-dub-dub, it’s a murder most foul

Hush little children, you’re gonna stand
The Beatles are comin’, they’re gonna hold your hand
Slide down the bannister, go get your coat
Ferry ‘cross the Mersey and go for the throat
There’s three bums comin’ all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I’m goin’ to Woodstock, it’s the Aquarian Age
Then I’ll go down to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window, let the good times roll
There’s a party goin’ on behind the Grassy Knoll

Stack up the bricks, pour the cement
Don’t say Dallas don’t love you, Mr President
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Blackface singer, white face clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red light district like a cop on the beat
Living in a Nightmare on Elm Street

When you’re down on Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe
Don’t ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the barrelhead, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make a left-hand turn
I’m goin’ down to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope and charity died
Shoot ‘im while he runs, boy, shoot ‘im while you can
See if you can shoot the Invisible Man
Goodbye Charlie, goodbye Uncle Sam
Frankly, Miss Scarlet, I don’t give a damn
What is the truth? Where did it go?
Ask Oswald and Ruby, they oughta know
‘Shut your mouth,’ said the wise old owl,
‘Business is business, and it’s a murder most foul’

Tommy, can you hear me? I’m the acid queen
I’m riding in a long, black, Lincoln limousine
Ridin’ in the backseat next to my wife
Headin’ straight on in to the afterlife
I’m leanin’ to the left, got my head in her lap
Oh Lord, I’ve been led into some kind of a trap
Well, we ask no quarter and no quarter do we give
We’re right down the street from the street where you live
They mutilated his body and they took out his brain
What more could they do? They piled on the pain
But his soul was not there, where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years, they’ve been searching for that

Freedom, oh freedom, freedom over need
I hate to tell ya, mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin’, tell me no lie
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake up little Suzie, let’s go for a drive
Cross the Trinity River, let’s keep open-eyed
Turn the radio on, don’t touch the dials
Parkland hospital only six more miles
You got me Dizzy, Miss Lizzy; ya fill me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I’m just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind
Got blood in my eye, got blood in my ear
I’m never gonna make it to the new frontier

Zapruder’s film I’ve seen right before
Seen it 33 times, maybe more
It’s vile and deceitful, it’s cruel and it’s mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once and they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice
The day that they killed him someone said to me,
‘Son, The Age of the Antichrist has just only begun’
Air Force One comin’ in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at two thirty-eight
Lemme know when you decide to throw in the towel
It is what it is, and it’s murder most foul

What’s new, pussycat? What’d I say?
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it’s beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it’s 36 hours past Judgement Day

Wolfman Jack, he’s speaking in tongues
He’s going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play me that only the good die young
Take me to the place Tom Dooley was hung
The Saint James infirmary in the court of King James
If you wanna remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James too, play ‘I’d rather go blind’
Play it for the man with a telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker, play ‘Scratch my back’
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim goin’ down slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe

Play ‘Please, don’t let me be misunderstood’
Play it for the First Lady, she ain’t feeling any good
Play Don Henley, play Glenn Frey
Take it to the limit and let it go by
Play it for Carl Wilson, too
Looking far, far away down Galloway Avenue
Play tragedy, play twilight time
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one, and ‘Another one bites the dust’
Play the old rugged cross and In God We Trust
Ride the pink horse down that long lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode

Play Mystery Train for Mr Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the reverend, play it for the pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson, play Stan Getz
Play Blue Sky, play Dicky Betts
Play Art Pepper, Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all-a that junk
All that junk and ‘All-a that jazz ‘
Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz

Play Buster Keaton, play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel, play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play the numbers, play the odds
Play ‘Cry me a river’ for the Lord of the Gods
Play Number 9, play Number 6
Play it for Nancy and Stevie Knicks
Play Nat King Cole, play ‘Nature Boy’
Play ‘Down in the Boondocks’ for Terry Malloy
Play ‘It happened one night’ and ‘One night of sin’
There’s 12 million souls that are listenin’ in
Play ‘Merchant of Venice’, play ‘Merchants of Death’
Play ‘Stella by Starlight’ for Lady Macbeth

Don’t worry, Mr President, help’s on the way
Your brothers are comin’, there’ll be hell to pay
‘Brothers, what brothers? What’s this about hell?
Tell ‘em we’re waiting, keep coming, we’ll get them as well’

Love Field is where his plane touched down
But it never did get back up off the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him 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 for Houdini spinning around in his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play Lucille
Play deep in a dream and play driving wheel
Play Moonlight Sonata in F sharp
And the key to the highway for the king of the harp
Play Marching through Georgia and Dumbarton’s drums
Play darkness and death will come when it comes
Play ‘Love me or leave me’ by the great Bud Powell
Play the Bloodstained Banner, play Murder Most Foul

Bob Dylan – Murder Most Foul (432Hz)

1 Reactie

  1. mr.drs.Bou

    Midnight on Planet Lockdown: Dylan strikes again

    by Pepe Escobar March 28, 2020

    Like a shot ricocheting at Heaven’s Door, Bob Dylan has released a masterpiece dissecting JFK’s assassination

    Wherever you are in Planet Lockdown, sit back in stay at home social distancing mode, turn on, tune in and time travel. There will be blood on the tracks.


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