“What Is The Truth? Where Did It Go?” About “Murder Most Foul”, Bob Dylan, 2020

“Play Murder Most Foul!” It’s the end of the song. Not just any song. Just when we needed it most, like a thief in the night, out of the blue, Bob Dylan, the spokesman for every generation, shared a song for any old time. Like a gift in the night. To help us make it through the night. Play Murder Most Foul!

“Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years. This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you. Bob Dylan”

“Play Murder Most Foul!” It’s the end of the song, and it’s the end of a prayer to Wolfman Jack & the end of an advice to us all: Play the songs. Believe the songs. Listen to the songs. In the dark ages, in the midnight hour, in the darkest hour, just before dawn. Listen to the songs. Believe the songs. In my time of darkness, listen to the songs. When the night comes falling from the sky, listen to the songs, when you’ve lost all ray of hope, listen to the songs. “Without a song the day would never end/Without a song the road would never bend/When things go wrong a man ain’t got a friend/Without a song”. Listen to “Murder Most Foul”, like a spinning wheel on fire, like a rolling stone. Remember the songs and all they can do. Play the songs. Play “Murder Most Foul”. Play it again, Sam. Play “Murder Most Foul”, a song of all songs, drizzled with clues to all the great songs, to songs with words, to songs without words, to all the great singers, to all the great musicians, to all the great genres, to film, to jazz, to country, to folk, to gospel, to rock´n roll, to the blues. It’s a guide and a map for our soul. Play John Lee Hooker, play “Scratch My Back”. Play Art Pepper, Play Thelonious Monk. Play Nat King Cole, Play Nature Boy: “There was a boy/A very strange enchanted boy/They say he wandered very far/Very far over land and sea/A little shy and sad of eye/But very wise, was he.” We see them all marching the parade of liberty, we see them all pass by, we see Willy Shakespeare, we see Buster Keaton, we see Harold Lloyd, we see Oscar Peterson, we see The Beatles, we see Patsy Cline & Stevie Nicks, we see Beethoven & Little Richard, we see Etta James, we see Marilyn Monroe & Nina Simone, Warren Zevon, even Don Henley & Glenn Frey, and many more, we see them all pass by. Look up, look beyond the horizon. Play ‘Murder Most Foul’!

A recitation as much as a song, a beautiful stream of consciuosness and a sad river of tears, “Murder Most Foul” holds one of the darkest moments of modern history, the murder of John F Kennedy as a wall of a woven backdrop to human existence & human nature, like a prism up to the light, turns it around and looks at it from all angles, let the light shine through it, like only the greatest songs can do, it all passes by, evil conspiracy, the perspective of the killer, of John F., of Zapruder, of the mourning people, the voice on TV or radio, of all the crazy sorrow, of life and life only, of our own heart. With the voice of the man of constant sorrow, with a voice that tries a little tenderness, with the voice of sand and glue, with the voice of youth and the voice of age, with the voice of wisdom & the voice of a poet, with the voice of truth & the voice of comfort, with the voice of freedom, his master’s voice, the genius of timing and phrasing and the Picasso of song, Bob Dylan reminds us to stay observant.

Play “Murder Most Foul”!

“If you wanna remember, you better write down the names…” (Transcriptions of lyrics & suggested links)

33 thoughts on ““What Is The Truth? Where Did It Go?” About “Murder Most Foul”, Bob Dylan, 2020

  1. thanks Johnny for your prayer, I can’t stop listening to this song, just like what happened when I heard It’s Allright Ma (I’m only bleeding) and Desolation Row, a masterpiece with a great impact this is! And yes, once more a step into new territory

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a double whammy of a gift—-an incredible song by Bob to listen to and ponder and your intuitively beautiful commentary!


  3. We may find so much consolidation in this song, in the idea that “If you want to remember, you better write down the names”. Likewise, we need writing like yours, Johnny, to open up our eyes and get the conversation going. Thanks!


  4. Pingback: From An Observer’s Testament – “False Prophet”, Bob Dylan 2020 | Johnny B.

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