I Would Just Like to Say I’m Glad Bob Dylan Isn’t Dead

The song is okay too.

DAPR/Zuma

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

When it became clear that people 65 and older were at higher risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, I instinctively started worrying about my favorite, Bob Dylan. I checked the perpetually touring geezer’s website to make sure he’d canceled his tour dates in Japan (he had), and felt a touch a comfort.

But Dylan’s scant media presence makes it hard to discern how he’s really doing. Then, he released a nearly 17-minute-long track about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, assuring me that he’s okay—probably.

I don’t really know if “Murder Most Foul” is any good or if it means Bob Dylan has gone insane. But it means Bob Dylan’s still kicking. That’s all that matters.

The Nobel Laureate’s first original song in eight years includes such questionable poetry as, “Rub-a-dub-dub, it’s a murder most foul,” and “What’s new, pussycat? What’d I say? / I said the soul of a nation been torn away.” The track—a typical, rambling, refrain-less Dylan ballad—has the old crooner’s voice sounding smoother than usual. Yet the song’s successive references to sixties music remind us that Dylan hit his peak long ago. His output is not dark yet, but it’s getting there.

Either way, happy 80th birthday to Bob Dylan.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate