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

The song is okay too.

DAPR/Zuma

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

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 78-year-old, 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, late last night, 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, with the world now turned upside down as on the day of Kennedy’s death, we Dylan diehards can rest assured that the Bard of Duluth is still breathing.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.