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Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul

15 Jun 20 - 11:20 PM (#4059437)
Subject: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: allanwill

I'm surprised there has been no mention (that I can find) of Dylan's masterful history lesson "Murder Most Foul".

As far as I am concerned the old boy has still got it!


16 Jun 20 - 03:19 AM (#4059451)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: The Sandman

by christ he murders some songs these days when he tries to sing, its worse than foul

(Bob Dylan)

Twas 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 said, "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 timing and the timing was right
You gotta pay debts, we've come to collect
We're gonna kill you with hatred, without any respect
We'll mock you and shock you and we'll put it 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
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman howl
Rub-a-dub-dub, it's a murder most foul

Hush, little children, you'll understand
The Beatles are comin', they're gonna hold your hand
Slide down the banister, 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 going to Woodstock, it's the Aquarian Age
Then I'll go to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window, let the good times roll
There's a party going 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, whiteface clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red light district, they've got cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street

When you're down in Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe
Don't ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the ballot, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make a left-hand turn
I'm going down to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope, and charity died
Shoot him while he runs, boy
Shoot him while you can
See if you can shoot the invisible man
Goodbye, Charlie
Goodbye, Uncle Sam
Frankly, my Scarlet, I don't give a damn

What is the truth, and 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
Riding in the backseat next to my wife
Heading straight on in to the afterlife
I'm leaning to the left, got my head in her lap
Hold on, I've been led into some kind of a trap
Where 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's not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they've been searchin' for that

Freedom, oh freedom
Freedom above me
I hate to tell you, mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin', tell me no lies
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 hope alive
Turn the radio on, don't touch the dials
Parkland hospital, only six more miles

You got me dizzy, Miss Lizzy
You filled 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
I've 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 that 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 coming in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at 2:38
Let me know when you decide to thrown 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 Judgment 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
Play "St. James Infirmary" and "The Port of King James"
If you want to remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James, too
Play "I'd Rather Go Blind"
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker
Play "Scratch My Back"
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim going 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 Karl Wirsum, too
Looking far, far away at Down Gallow 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 Dickey Betts
Play Hot Pepper, Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and "All 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 Lindsey and Stevie Nicks
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 listening in
Play "Merchant to 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 coming, 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 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 his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton
Play "Lucille"
Play "Deep In a Dream"
And play "Driving Wheel"
Play "Moonlight Sonata" in F-sharp
And "A Key to the Highway" for the king on the harp
Play "Marching Through Georgia" and "Dumbaroton's Drums"
Play darkness and 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"

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Dylan

16 Jun 20 - 05:10 AM (#4059465)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: JHW

In the courtroom of honour the judge pounded his gavel
To show that alls equal and that the courts are on the level
And he stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feeling that way without wanting
And he spoke though his cloak most deep and distinguished
And he handed out strongly for penalty and repentance
William Zumzinger with a six month sentence...

(from memory) Great songwriter

16 Jun 20 - 06:48 AM (#4059488)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: The Sandman

soory jhw i think that is one of the worst bits of songwriting he has ever done, good subject matter, but badly wriiten reminiscent at times of mcgonagle, masters of war is much better

16 Jun 20 - 10:50 AM (#4059541)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Dave Sutherland

I'm sure that Martin Carthy (along with thousands of others) would disagree with you Sandman; check out the sleeve notes to "Signs of Life".
Anyway as far as "Murder Most Foul" is concerned I find it totally mesmerising and the new album, from which it has been lifted, has, to date, received fantastic reviews.
Roll on Father's Day and if not I'll have to put my hand in my own pocket.

16 Jun 20 - 01:26 PM (#4059567)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Chris C

I think by this late date most listeners are firmly in the "Bob is Great" camp, or else consider him overrated and perhaps generally tough to listen to.
Personally, I love his work, (and even his much-maligned voice) and this latest epic is no exception. While I doubt it will win over any new fans, I highly recommend it to the existing base(many of us long-time supporters) who I think will find the old master in fine form. It is, of course, quite long, so I'm not sure how often even I'll sit through it, but I strongly encourage at least one good, attentive pass. There are some gems among the many freewheeling stream-of-consciousness-yet-somehow-coherent lines, references, and rhymes. In summary, it's fantastic. I look forward to hearing the rest of the album.

16 Jun 20 - 04:47 PM (#4059596)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: JHW

I don't like his later voice. He did Christmas shows a couple of years ago and I couldn't listen. Sorry. But I love the songs.

16 Jun 20 - 05:22 PM (#4059603)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: The Sandman

dave sutherland , i dont care a fiddlers trump what Martin or anybody else thinks, why should i are you influenced by what other perfoprmers in the uk folk revival think,i doubt it so why should i
in my opinion dylan has lost the abilty to sing , and in my opinion he has written at the most six good songs.

16 Jun 20 - 06:34 PM (#4059613)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Peter T.

New album, Rough and Ready Ways, out soon!

Peter T.

16 Jun 20 - 09:24 PM (#4059637)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: allanwill

Not having a singing voice myself, I wish I couldn't sing as good as Dylan!


17 Jun 20 - 02:08 AM (#4059646)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,paperback

Written like a extended 20th Century Mother Goose nursery rhyme with a touch of Grimm. Any five lines can stand alone.
A work of genius.

17 Jun 20 - 02:39 AM (#4059652)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Allan Conn

I suppose whether you like someone's music or not is subjective so there are always going to be differences. I have always really liked Dylan's earlier music until the three Christian albums which apart from the odd song I couldn't take too. I liked both "Infidels" and "Oh Mercy" but from then on I really struggled getting past the ever croakier voice and his singing style is now kind of half spoken, croaky and not in truth very melodic. So I never really gave the later material much of a chance until relatively recently.

It wasn't really until "Tempest" was released that I gave the albums in between that and "Oh Mercy" a chance. And once you get used to the voice along with "Tempest" another three albums "Time Out Of Mind" "Love And Theft and "Modern Times" are all great listens - for me anyway! The strange thing is with the exception of "Make You Feel My Love" how little of this material is better known outside the world of Dylan fans. There is some great material.

So aye his work has been patchy at times but I am looking forward to the new album. Hopefully it is as good as some of these others. Though I full understand how the voice puts some people off. My wife simply won't listen to his more recent albums and in truth only tolerates his earlier singing even on the likes of "Desire" while I think he delivers that album really well.

17 Jun 20 - 11:29 AM (#4059711)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,Peter Laban

The review in the Guardian was in favour, five star:

Bob Dylan: Rough and Rowdy Ways review – a testament to his eternal greatness

18 Jun 20 - 12:04 PM (#4059902)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,DrWord

If blueKlikky doesn’t, some elf will fix. Interesting interview. Dennis

19 Jun 20 - 12:25 PM (#4060152)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Dave Sutherland

Not that I would advocate that anyone buys, or even reads, the Daily Mail but in today's edition their man gives Rough and Rowday Ways a five star review.

20 Jun 20 - 05:30 AM (#4060278)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Allan Conn

Just back from a long walk listening to the new Dylan album. I must admit I am impressed.

26 Jun 20 - 03:55 PM (#4061571)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: JHW

Chart topper

26 Jun 20 - 04:43 PM (#4061578)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: RTim

Just enjoyed quietly listening to it all.....on YouTube...

Tim Radford

27 Jun 20 - 05:06 AM (#4061631)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,maj

Thanks for the lyrics.
It is Art Pepper not hot pepper

27 Jun 20 - 05:09 AM (#4061633)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Joe G

I lasted twenty minutes with the new album waiting in vain for something that resembled a melody. Might work as poetry but not as music in my view. I'll admit I'm not a Dylan fan - though I do love Blood on the Tracks

27 Jun 20 - 07:03 AM (#4061652)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Backwoodsman

Great song. And his croaky talking/singing voice is perfect for it. IMHO, YMMV.

27 Jun 20 - 09:25 AM (#4061679)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge

Never been a fan & not really interested in really - however isn't the phrase 'ROUGH AND ROWDY WAYS' taken from a Doc Watson song- can't recall which.

Think I'll stick to Doc Watson & if you want croaky, try Leon Redbone...

27 Jun 20 - 10:23 AM (#4061692)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: gillymor

My Rough and Rowdy Ways was written by Jimmy Rogers and Elsie McWilliams and Rogers released a recording of it in 1929. Doc did an excellent cover of it, as he did with a number of Rogers songs.

I recognize Bob Dylan's genius, still sing some of his songs and consider him one of the best songwriters in history but sometime around the mid-70's I got to where I just didn't care to hear him sing any more though he has continued to write good songs.

27 Jun 20 - 10:26 AM (#4061693)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,Guest

Jim,I agree with you.
Jimmie Rogers The Yodelling Brakeman
It was also recorded by the great Doc Watson.

27 Jun 20 - 03:45 PM (#4061755)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Jeri

Anybody know if Doc Watson or Jimmie Rogers copyrighted that combination of those four words? I'd guess Dylan just liked them.

28 Jun 20 - 10:06 PM (#4061962)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul

“Murther most foul” ~ the ghost of King Hamlet. (Spelling in firstFolio)

30 Jun 20 - 08:06 AM (#4062150)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,Jerry

I shouldn’t get on too high a horse when it comes to arguing that the phrase Rough and Rowdy Ways is pinched from an earlier artiste. Dylan’s lyrics, song titles and even album titles are littered with borrowed phrases and quotations, which you can either view as homage or plagiarism depending on how you rate his body of work overall. Half the fun in listening to his offerings is in spotting all the literary and musical references, from Shakespeare and the Bible, to classic film scripts and song lyrics (including the extensive cannon of songs in folk, blues, country and all points in between).

30 Jun 20 - 08:41 AM (#4062157)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,crumbly

'half the fun in listening to his offerings' ???

Dylan has many admirers & has had recognition as a poet but FUN?

I think not!

30 Jun 20 - 08:52 AM (#4062159)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,Jerry

‘Half the fun’ is a borrowed sarcastic phrase in itself, and rarely to be interpreted literally, as in “half the fun in attending funerals is seeing who else turns up.”

30 Jun 20 - 04:34 PM (#4062219)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: GUEST,paperback

It's Bob's Labor of Love,
a bit of a labor to love it

30 Jun 20 - 05:13 PM (#4062221)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Jeri

I haven't heard anything but the title song.
As a song, I don't like it. As a sound poem, it's a masterpiece. I think I'd have a serious problem if I wanted it to be what it isn't.

30 Jun 20 - 05:46 PM (#4062225)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Stilly River Sage

There was a longish review of it this afternoon on Fresh Air (WHYY-FM). It isn't showing up online yet, probably later tonight or tomorrow.

30 Jun 20 - 06:05 PM (#4062228)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul

Dylan released a pre-release take of the song back in March 27 of this year. The remarks on that YouTube presentation including one from Mr Dylan himself are worth a read.

01 Jul 20 - 07:30 PM (#4062368)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Neil D

Jeri, you can't copyright a title. There are many examples of different songs with the same title. For instance, I was surfing Youtube the other day and was surprised to see a video of David Byrne doing "Dirty Old Town". When I played it I was surprised again since it wasn't the MacColl song at all. Good song though, very Caribbean.
I also just listened to the new Dylan album on Youtube and enjoyed it muchly. I like Dylan's singing as he's gotten older and find it soothing. I remember him saying in his autobiography that at some point he had gotten to a point where he thought he couldn't sing anymore and then he stumbled upon a different way of singing that kept him going. As I recall, it had to do with relaxing everything and not trying to force it. And really, if I've come to love Tom Waites rasp, which these days is barely a whisper, embracing Dylan's recent singing style is a piece of cake.

01 Jul 20 - 07:41 PM (#4062370)
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul
From: Jeri

We need to agree on a font color for sarcasm.