Murder Most Foul

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics

WRITTEN BY: BOB DYLAN

‘Twas a dark day in Dallas – November ’63
The day that will live on in infamy *[F. D. Roosevelt]
President Kennedy was riding high
A good day to be living and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
Say wait a minute boys, do you know who I am?
Of course we do, we know who you are
Then they blew off his head when he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
‘Twas a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts and we’ve come to collect
We’re gon’ kill you with hatred and 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 *[Lyndon B. Johnson]

The day that 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 *[Wolfman Jack (well known DJ, cf. American Graffiti), A. Gingsberg?]
Rub a dub dub – it’s murder most foul

Hush li’l children, you’ll soon understand
The Beatles are coming they’re gonna hold your hand *[“I Want To Hold Your Hand”, first Beatles song to reach #1 on the US hit charts]
Slide down the bannister, go get your coat
Ferry ‘cross the Mersey and go for the throat *[Gerry & The Pacemakers]
There’s three bums comin’ all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I’m going to Woodstock, *[August 1969]
It’s the Aquarian Age *[“Aquarius (Let The Sunshine In)” from 5th Dimension album “The Age Of Aquarius”]
Then I’ll go over to Altamont *[December 1969]
And sit near the stage
Put your head out the window, let the good times roll *[Ray Charles/B. B. King, The Cars]
There’s a party going on behind the grassy knoll *[Hill near the site of the assassination]
Stack up the bricks and pour the cement *[Masonry?]
Don’t say Dallas don’t love you, Mr. President *[Reportedly the last words spoken to President Kennedy before shots were fired, delivered by Dallas governor’s wife]
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass *[Intersection of streets where Kennedy was killed]
Black face singer – white face clown *[cf. “Love and Theft”]
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red-light district they got cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street *[Double allusion, film and street (near where Abraham Zapruder shot his incredible film, up at the bend from South Houston onto Elm, the last corner that President Kennedy would turn in his life)]
When you’re down on deep Ellum put your money in your shoe *[“Deep Ellum Blues”]
Don’t ask what your country can do for you *[JFK sentence]
Cash on the barrel head, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make a left hand turn *[place where President JFK was murdered]
I’m going to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride *[“Crossroad Blues”, Robert Johnson]
That’s the place where Faith, Hope and Charity died
Shoot ’em while he runs, boy, shoot ’em while you can *[“Shotgun”, Jr. Walker & the All Stars]
See if you can shoot the Invisible Man *[“The Invisible Man (1933)” film directed by James Whale, based on H.G. Wells novel]
Goodbye, Charlie, goodbye Uncle Sam *[Vincent Minnelli, Hitchcock’s “The Shadow of A Doubt”?]
Frankly, Miss Scarlet, I don’t give a damn *[“Gone With The Wind”]
What is the truth and where did it go
Ask Oswald and Ruby – they oughta know
Shut your mouth, says the wise old owl
Business is business and it’s murder most foul

Tommy can you hear me? I’m the Acid Queen *[The Who]
I’m ridin’ in a long black Lincoln limousine
Ridin’ in the back seat, next to my wife
Heading straight on into the afterlife
I’m leaning to the left, got my head in her lap
Oh Lord, 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 *[My Fair Lady?]
They mutilated his body and 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 me *[“Freedom, Oh Freedom”]
Hate to tell you, Mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some loving – tell me no lie *[Little Richard]
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake Up, Little Suzie, let’s go for a drive *[Everly Brothers, Suze Rotolo?]
Cross the Trinity River, let’s keep hope alive
Turn the radio on, don’t touch the dials
Parkland Hospital’s only six more miles
You got me Dizzy Miss Lizzy, you filled me with lead *[Larry Williams/The Beatles]
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I’m just a patsy like Patsy Cline *[“patsy” (scapegoat) is what Oswald said he was]
I never shot anyone from in front or behind
Got blood in my eyes, got blood in my ear *[“Blood In My Eyes” from “World Gone Wrong” album]
I’m never gonna make it to the New Frontier *[Famous JFK concept, 1960]

Zapruder’s film I seen night before *[silent 8mm color motion picture sequence shot by Abraham Zapruder with a Bell & Howell home-movie camera, as President Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963. Unexpectedly, it ended up capturing JFK subsequent assassination that occurred during that act]
Seen it thirty three 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, 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 anti-Christ has just only begun.”
Air Force One coming in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at two thirty-eight
Let me know when you decide to throw in the towel
It is what it is and it’s murder most foul

What’s New Pussycat – wha’d I say *[Tom Jones/Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles]
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And It’s beginning to go down into a slow decay
And that it’s thirty-six hours past judgment day *[Robert Johnson]
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 that Only The Good Die Young *[Billy Joel, cf. “Foot Of Pride”]
Take me to the place where Tom Dooley was hung *[trad. folk song (Kingston Trio)]
Play St. James Infirmary in the court of King James *[trad. folk song (L. Armstrong), cf. “Blind Willie McTell”]
If you want to remember, 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 *[Jack Ruby (cf. “The Last Waltz”)]
Guitar Slim – Goin’ Down Slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe
And please, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood *[Nina Simone/The Animals]
Play it for the First Lady, she ain’t feeling that good
Play Don Henley – play Glenn Frey *[The Eagles]
Take it to the Limit and let it go by
And play it for Carl Wilson, too
Lookin’ far, far away down Gower Avenue *[“Desperados Under The Eaves” by W. Zevon, C. Wilson does backing vocals]
Play Tragedy, play Twilight Time *[Bee Gees, The Platters]
Take Me Back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime *[Bob Wills]
Play another one and Another One Bites the Dust *[Queen]
Play the Old Rugged Cross and in God We Trust *[Gospel anthem, Dead Kennedys album]
Ride the Pink Horse down that Long, Lonesome Road *[“Ride The Pink Horse (1947)” movie by Robert Montgomery with Ben Hecht’s screenplay, based on the noir novel of the same title written by Dorothy B. Hughes (the film is mainly about the longing for a better life that is unattainable and has given rise to an American saying referring to such circumstance); Long, Lonesome Road alludes to Bill Monroe’s “Lonesome Road Blues”]
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play Mystery Train for Mr. Mystery *[Elvis/Sun Ra]
The man who fell down dead, like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend, play it for the Pastor *[Reverend Gary Davis? “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down”; “for the Pastor” Little Richard? …After being born again in 1957, Penniman enrolled at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, a mostly colored people Seventh-Day Adventist college, to study theology. Penniman returned to secular music in the early 1960s. He was eventually ordained a minister in 1970 and resumed evangelical activities in 1977]
Play it for the dog that’s got no master *[His Master’s Voice?]
Play Oscar Peterson and play Stan Getz
Play Blue Sky, play Dickie Betts *[Allman Brothers Band]
Play Art Pepper, play Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and All That Jazz *[“Chicago” Musical, cf. “All That Jazz” movie by Bob Fosse]
Play something for The Birdman of Alcatraz *[movie by John Frankenheimer w/Burt Lancaster]
Play Buster Keaton play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play all the numbers, play all the odds *[Floyd died on November 22]
Play Cry Me A River for the Lord of the Gods *[Julie London]
Play number nine, play number six *[The Beatles/Jimi Hendrix “If 6 Was 9”]
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks *[Fleetwood Mac]
Play Nat King Cole, play Nature Boy
Play Down in the Boondocks for Terry Malloy *[Joe South, Brando in “On The Waterfront”]
Play It Happened One Night and One Night of Sin *[Capra, Elvis]
There’s twelve million souls that are listening in
Play the Merchant of Venice, play the merchants of death *[“Merchants of Death” was an epithet used in the U.S. in the 1930s to attack industries and banks that supplied and funded World War I (then called the Great War)]
Play Stella by Starlight for Lady Macbeth *[Shakespeare]
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 waitin’- keep coming – we’ll get ’em as well
Love Field is where his plane touched down *[Dallas airport]
But it never did get back up off of 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 *[Johnny Mathis, Petula Clark, cf. “Misty” by Clint Eastwood]
Play Anything Goes and Memphis in June *[Cole Porter, Nina Simone, cf. “Tight Connection To My Heart”]
Play Lonely at the Top and Lonely Are the Brave *[Randy Newman, Kirk Douglas’ movie]
Play it for Houdini spinning around in his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play Lucille *[Little Richard]
Play Deep in a Dream and play Drivin’ Wheel *[Chet Baker, blues standard]
Play Moonlight Sonata in F sharp *[Beethoven]
And Key to the Highway by the king of the harp *[Little Walter]
Play Marchin’ Through Georgia and Dumbarton’s drum* [Traditional songs, the 2nd one of Scottish origin]
Play Darkness and death will come when it comes *[Eminem? Leonard Cohen?]
Play Love Me or Leave Me by the great Bud Powell
Play the Blood Stained Banner – play Murder Most Foul

Copyright

© 2020 by Special Rider Music

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