Bob Dylan was right...

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I recently rediscovered Dylan's Infidels, (1984) while rolling through my collection of recordings, and the fact that thirty years on - Dylan absolutely predicted the future: 'Well, you know, lots of people complaining that there is no work - I say, "Why you say that for - When nothing you got is US made ?" - They don't make nothing here no more....(chorus): Well, it's sundown on the union - And what's made in the USA - Sure was a good idea - 'Til greed got in the way.' Simply amazing. He was also spot on with his tracks about Reagan - specifically "Jokerman".

Docspix's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


He didn't predict the future he was just in touch with the times, few people are.

Though I have to admit I thought shipping jobs overseas and not manufacturing were what made America "great".

Grand Canceler's picture
Grand Canceler
Jul. 12, 2012 1:19 pm

Listening to Dylan is an "acquired" taste. Much like that of "beer".

I don't know of anyone who originally tasted a beer and was... "Now that's the taste I've been after!"

But after time, now I can't stand a beer that isn't pungent! I LOVE hops, barley, spices, honey, you name it. I DEMAND that my "beer" taste like a "beer". I am a full on, BEER SNOB. I do look down my nose at those who drink the gutter swill of the cheap American popular beers.

I was the same way with Dylan. It wasn't until hearing SO many other people's versions of Dylan songs that I started to give the "original" it's day in court.

After doing so, I like him. I don't expect others to warm up to him. His singing voice is horrid.

Most people who listen to music are programmed to only like the vocal gymnastics and not the words.

My favorite lyric's are, "Maggie's Farm".

My favorite song is, "Subterranean Homesick Blues".

I'm glad that I broke through the "bitter beer face" stage and learned to enjoy Bob Dylan. I would've really missed out on an American Icon if I hadn't.

I am a full on MUSIC SNOB. Hey! I can hum along to a Lady GaGa song and enjoy it for what it is... but to take it for anything above face value... I can't pretend something is there when it is not.

Time listening to Bob Dylan is time worth spent.

Thanks for the topic!

Fletcher Christian's picture
Fletcher Christian
Feb. 15, 2012 12:49 pm
Quote Docspix:..Dylan absolutely predicted the future: 'Well, you know, lots of people complaining that there is no work - I say, "Why you say that for - When nothing you got is US made ?"

That was recorded in April-May 1983.

At the time I thought he was being stupid because we would make other stuff for export. Hah!

That was a great album - mix of Regae, classic rock, and fire and damnation. Dylan lost millions of fans in the 1980's because of his religous themes. Their loss.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Fletcher Christian:

His singing voice is horrid.

You got a lot of nerve...

anonymous green
Jan. 5, 2012 11:47 am

Yeah... I got a lot of nerve.

To go along with "My John the Conquerer Root" when I ride the "Last Train to Clarksville" to meet the "Master of Puppets" at the "Cross Roads".

Bob Dylan sings like a bird... a dead one.

His singing voice is terrible.

So What?

I am a fan because of the content. Not his ability to do vocal gymnastics.

He's also not a very good guitarist.

So What?

Iggy Pop had this to say about his first impression of the Velvet Underground. "He can't sing. I can't sing. Let's sing!"


I admire vocal gymnastics.

I admire lyrical content.

I admire production.

I admire "Tom Dowd and the Language of Music".

Les Paul is a modern day wizard!

"Bad Brains" had TERRIBLE production values... TERRIBLE vocal gymnastics... and yet, are one of my FAVORITE bands of all time.

There are some things that I know more than virtually ANY other human being. There are other things that I do not know. MUSIC happens to be a passion of mine. When I say "passion"... it's actually MORE than that. It, at times, has been my SOLE reason for existence.

When I was a youngster... I had no real desire to go to Jamaica because I had already been there through the music of Bob Marley. Physically, I never left my room.

I would look at the back of the "KISS Alive" album and "transport" myself into that crowd and listen to the show.

My dad played with Jerry Lee Lewis. So when I heard, "The Killer"... I transported myself back into the juke joint and rocked out to them.

Ahmet Ertegun should be a national treasure. There should be statues in his honor.

It's a shame that kids won't experience the "Dark Side of the Moon" on headphones.

When I hear R. L. Burnside... I find myself on the porch with him tapping my toes.

The world would be a better place if we all listened to Black Sabbath.

Miles Davis is another wizard of sound that is dearly missed.

Kurt Cobain almost broke the broken system... I wish he had. I wish he was here today.

It is a national SHAME that we do not celebrate the great music of our country... that music is jazz.

Ludwig Von Beethoven wrote the greatest tune of all time. It is the "Ode To Joy". I wish it to be played at my funeral.

Stevie Wonder is a SUPERHERO!

If/When I am elected Mayor... there will be a statue of Willie Nelson to mark the greatest turn towards urban agriculture the world has ever known!

"On the One"... is a term that EVERY child should be aware of, thanks to James Brown.

You want to END the Israel/Palastine conflict? Fly 2 bomber planes over the sites. One plane drops The Ramones 1st album, "The Ramones" over Israel. The second plane drops The Ramones 2nd album, "Leave Home" over Palastine. KIDS would play these records. They would hear the KIDS across the fence listening to similar music. They would approach each other with their respective records in hand. They would begin to SHARE. This would lead to understanding. BULL SHIT ENDS!


If one desire's to get all spiritual... God "spoke" the world into existence. When he spoke... he used sound waves. Those sound waves are repeated when "we" create music.


That is precisely why the music industry has been demolished over the years and why everything is now going "digital". Did you ever wonder why they made GOLD RECORDS in the first place? Look it up.

When we started sending our junk out into the cosmos... Carl Sagan put together a GOLD RECORD for the "aliens" to play. Look it up.


Yeah... I got a lot of nerve.

I also have "A Whole Lotta Love", A "Yellow Submarine", and a "Blue Train".


Docspix - Thanks again for bringing this topic up. I played some Dylan on the BIG SPEAKERS in the house and I think I actually saw my wife "digging" him for the 1st time! The song was "Positively 4th Street".

Fletcher Christian's picture
Fletcher Christian
Feb. 15, 2012 12:49 pm


I don't know how I forgot this one...

I got a lot of nerve?... Well that may be. One thing is for sure, I got "A Whole Lotta Rosie"!

AC/DC is the greatest "drinking" music EVER!

Come to think of it... maybe that's why I "forgot" them in the first place!


Fletcher Christian's picture
Fletcher Christian
Feb. 15, 2012 12:49 pm

You can hear Bob 24/7 on  He personally comments and introduces songs on Theme Time radio, MWF at 9 PST. Enjoy! The fire of youth will never be put out!

demandside's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Money doesn't talk, it swears. With that one line, Dylan predicted our future.

Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Predicting the future is much easier than trying to change it. Dylan deserves as much credit for that as anything. He has been tirelessly focused on that task for a very long time. Making dire predicitions of the future is one way to accomplish that goal as long as that message gets heard.

Dylan is the master who illustrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that form follows function in the creation of a song. His ability to so easily breeze past his vocal shortcomings and slip nonsensical lines seamlessly into his work is a thing of beauty.

I remember an interview recorded in the 60’s where a reporter (or laymen questioner) was gushing to Dylan about his prophetic lyrics as if each and every word held a deep meaning and wanted to know what some particular lyric meant. Dylan responded humbly in his deep nasally voice that sometimes the words don’t mean anything, they just fit nicely into the song. To me, that is his genius more than anything. His ability to masterfully fill the spaces around his brilliant social and political commentary to give it a vitality it would not have otherwise.

If Dylan chose to craft his art through some medium other than music, his work would be no less brilliant but it would be far less known to the masses. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Dylan for not only advancing social and political awareness in typical folk music fashion, but for advancing the craft of modern songwriting which has lead the way to even further social and political awareness.

The likes of Willie Nelson, Lou Reed, Neil Young, Kris Kristofferson, Kurt Cobain and so many others have vocal talents that should place them in some other profession. But they, like Dylan, flourish under the notion that what you say trumps how gracefully you say it.

Defining Dylan as mere prophet denies him credit for his skills as a teacher and laborer in the trenches of our society. God Bless Bob Dylan.

Laborisgood's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Actually, in some people's mind, I was a late comer as a Bob Dylan fan--and the first album that attracted me to Dylan was his first (and best) religious album--Slow Train Coming--which, being obsessive-compulsive as I am, at one point in medical school, I am sure at the suffering of my then wife, I listened to up to 2 to 3 times a day--and did so for about a year. It was after that that I actually looked into some of Dylan's earlier work.

So many words from that Slow Train Coming album still resonate with me. Here's a few (all from my book, Bob Dylan, Lyrics from 1962-1985):

From 'Gotta Serve Somebody':

You may be an ambassador to England or France,
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord,
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

You might be a rock and roll addict prancing on the stage
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage,
You may be a business man or some high degree thief,
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief.

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed.....

From 'I Believe in You':

They ask me how I feel
And if my love is real
And how I know I'll make it through.
And they, they look at me and frown,
They'd like to drive me from this town.
They don't want me around
'Cause I believe in you.

They show me to the door,
They say don't come back no more
'Cause I don't be like they'd like me to,
And I walk out on my own
A thousand miles from home
But I don't feel alone
'Cause I believe in you.

From 'Precious Angel':

Precious angel, under the sun,
How was I to know you'd be the one
To show me I was blinded, to show me I was gone
How weak was the foundation I was standing upon?

Now there's spiritual warfare and flesh and blood breaking down.
Ya either got faith or ya got unbelief and there ain't no neutral ground.
The enemy is subtle, how be it we are so deceived
When the truth's in our hearts and we still don't believe?

From 'Gonna Change My Way of Thinking':

Gonna change my way of thinking,
Make myself a different set of rules.
Gonna put my good foot forward,
And stop being influenced by fools.

So much oppression,
Can't keep track of it no more.
Sons becoming husbands to their mothers,
And old men turning young daughters into whores.


I got a God-fearing woman,
One that I can easily afford.
She can do the Georgia crawl,
She can walk in the spirit of the Lord.

From 'When You Gonna Wake Up?'


When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts.
Karl Marx has got ya by the throat, Henry Kissinger's got ya tied up into knots.

When you gonna wake up......

You got innocent men in jail, your insane asylums are filled,
You got unrighteous doctors dealing drugs that'll never cure your ills.

When you gonna wake up....

Adulterers in churches and pornography in the schools,
You got gangsters in power and lawmakers breaking rules.

When you gonna wake up....

And, finally, from 'Slow Train' (in its entirety):

Sometimes I feel so lowdown and disgusted
Can't help but wonder what's happening to my companions,
Are they lost or are they found, have they counted the cost it'll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they're gonna have to abandon?
There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

I had a woman down in Alabama,
She was a backwoods girl, but she sure was realistic,
She said, 'Boy, without a doubt, have to quit your mess and straighten out,
You could die down here, be just another accident statistic.'
There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

All that foreign oil controlling American soil,
Look around you, it's just bound to make you embarrassed.
Sheiks walkin' around like kings, wearing fancy jewels and nose rings,
Deciding America's future from Amsterdam and to Paris
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

Man's ego is inflated, his laws are outdated, they don't apply no more,
You can't rely no more to be standin' around waitin'
In the home of the brave, Jefferson turnin' over in his grave,
Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

Big-time negotiators, false healers and woman haters,
Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition
But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency,
All non-believers and men stealers talkin' in the name of religion
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

People starvin' and thirsting, grain elevators are bursting
Oh, you know it costs more to store the food than it do to give it.
They say lose your inhibitions, follow your own ambitions,
They talk about a life of brotherly love, show me someone who knows how to live it.
There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

Well, my baby went to Illinois with some bad-talkin' boy she could destroy
A real suicide case, but there was nothin' I could do to stop it,
I don't care about economy, I don't care about astronomy
But it sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets,
There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

I used to end such posts with 'Keep the Faith'--but, that doesn't appear to apply to the sophistry that is proposed around here much....

Kerry's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Dylan actually had periods where he sang very well.

I would direct the cynics or skeptics to recall songs like 'Lay, Lady, Lay' on Nashville Skyline.

His best is thought to be Spanish is a Loving Tounge Tounge on Dylan (1973 - not the album called Dylan made 1962)

It is tempting to make fun of the 'Like a Rolling Stone' Dylan, but his voice can be perfectly fine in other times and places.

There are also many songs where his voice is fine for blues, or rock, and doesn't display the sheer horror of his later period. I think if you listen to the newer Together Through Life album - say - It's All Good, he sounds like a gruff blues singer - and a decent one at that.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

-No Time To Think, is one of my favorites.

Hear it here;


Hey Fletcher Christian,

Check out 'Brownsville Girl' from the album Knocked Out Loaded, written by Sam Shepard performed by Dylan,

bamboo's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

bamboo - I will! Thanks.

I came to Dylan VERY late. I'm glad I did. To me... he was too established. One of the many mistakes I've made.

The Stooges and The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Bad Brains, Minor Threat got to me at that age where when it's the perfect time to have the MOST influence. That kind of music got inside of me and twisted my DNA!

When I became old enough... I became one of those kids who hung out at the record store. My local one was Hegwish Records. I was in Heaven when I found a REAL record store that existed only 5 minutes from my house. It was called "Hoosier Entertainmnet?" It was PERFECT! The guy who ran it was a long haired, bicycle riding, blues playing, weed smoking, bad ass, hippie!

He went out of business. I bought the LAST record he sold. RHCP's "I'm With You".

I cried. It was my personal "Day the Music Died". I cried.

Fletcher Christian's picture
Fletcher Christian
Feb. 15, 2012 12:49 pm

I had never heard of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones until I shared an apartment with some (fairly wild) engineering students (and that was before my discovery of Dylan's Slow Train Coming album). They made hash oil out of some contraption in our bathroom that they had purchased at a head shop across from the campus--and, yes, even at Texas A&M, as conservative a school as it was then (as it is now), had a head shop across from campus at the time. But, that was before the Reagan administration stepped up the 'War On Drugs' (and Nancy saying everyone should 'Just Say No')--that head shop has been long gone....along with the X-rated movie theater just down the street.....but the beer bar The Dixie Chicken has gotten bigger....

But, I never actually developed much of a taste for that type of music. Remember, I come from a rural area that danced to country and western music and, if anything else was listened to, maybe Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, and Peter Frampton--Pink Floyd was too 'pot-headed'. I remember my brother did listen to some Steppenwolf....but he was considered to be a little too wild for the local girls.....8^).....

One of those engineering students liked to play his air guitar with just his underwear on standing on the back of the sofa with Jimi Hendrix playing as loud as his stereo would go at 3AM--with the neighbors calling the police on more than one occasion (but, surprisingly considering today's possibilities and what our apartment must have smelled like, no one got arrested). Those were the days.....

Kerry's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm IDIOT WIND Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press

Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out but when they will I can only guess
They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
I can’t help it if I’m lucky

People see me all the time and they just can’t remember how to act
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts
Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at
I couldn’t believe after all these years, you didn’t know me better than that
Sweet lady

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth
Blowing down the backroads headin’ south
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth
You’re an idiot, babe
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

I ran into the fortune-teller, who said beware of lightning that might strike
I haven’t known peace and quiet for so long I can’t remember what it’s like
There’s a lone soldier on the cross, smoke pourin’ out of a boxcar door
You didn’t know it, you didn’t think it could be done, in the final end he won the wars
After losin’ every battle

I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin’ ’bout the way things sometimes are
Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin’ me see stars
You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies
One day you’ll be in the ditch, flies buzzin’ around your eyes
Blood on your saddle

Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb
Blowing through the curtains in your room
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth
You’re an idiot, babe
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart
You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn’t enough to change my heart
Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped
What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top
You’re on the bottom

I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind
I can’t remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed, your eyes
don’t look into mine
The priest wore black on the seventh day and sat stone-faced while the
building burned
I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the
springtime turned
Slowly into Autumn

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth
You’re an idiot, babe
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

I can’t feel you anymore, I can’t even touch the books you’ve read
Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishin’ I was somebody else instead
Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstasy
I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory
And all your ragin’ glory

I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I’m finally free
I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me
You’ll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above
And I’ll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love
And it makes me feel so sorry

Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats
Blowing through the letters that we wrote
Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves
We’re idiots, babe
It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves

Copyright © 1974 by Ram's Horn Music; renewed 2002 by Ram’s Horn Music

bamboo's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Here are a couple of other songs that resonate with me coming from Bob Dylan's Empire Burlesque album (from the same Bob Dylan Lyrics book):

The song 'Trust Yourself':

Trust yourself,
Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best.
Trust yourself,
Trust yourself to do what's right and not be second-guessed.
Don't trust me to show you beauty
When beauty may only turn to rust.
If you need somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

Trust yourself,
Trust yourself to know the way that will prove true in the end.
Trust yourself,
Trust yourself to find the path where there is no if and when.
Don't trust me to show you the truth
When the truth may only be ashes and dust.
If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

Well, you're on your own, you always were,
In a land of wolves and thieves.
Don't put your hope in ungodly man
Or be a slave to what somebody else believes.

Trust yourself
And you won't be disappointed when vain people let you down.
Trust yourself
And look not for answers where no answers can be found.
Don't trust me to show you love
When my love may be only lust.
If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

The song 'Dark Eyes':

Oh, the gentlemen are talking and the midnight moon is on the riverside,
They're drinking up and walking and it is time for me to slide.
I live in another world where life and death are memorized,
Where the earth is strung with lovers' pearls and all I see are dark eyes.

A cock is crowing far away and another soldier's deep in prayer,
Some mother's child has gone astray, she can't find him anywhere.
But I can hear another drum beating for the dead the rise,
Whom nature's beast fears as they come and all I see are dark eyes.

They tell me to be discreet for all intended purposes,
They tell me revenge is sweet and from where they stand, I'm sure it is.
But I feel nothing for their game where beauty goes unrecognized,
All I feel is heat and flame and all I see are dark eyes.

Oh, the French girl, she's in paradise and a drunken man is at the wheel,
Hunger pays a heavy price to the falling gods of speed and steel.
Oh, time is short and the days are sweet and passion rules the arrow that flies.
A million faces at my feet but all I see are dark eyes.

Kerry's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Here's another song from Bob Dylan's Empire Burlesque album titled 'Clean-Cut Kid':

Everybody wants to know why he couldn't adjust
Adjust to what, a dream that bust?

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did.

They said what's up is down, they said what isn't is
They put ideas in his head he thought were his.

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did.

He was on the baseball team, he was in the marching band
When he was ten years old he had a watermelon stand.

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did.

He went to church on Sunday, he was a Boy Scout
For his friends he would turn his pockets inside out.

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did.

They said, "Listen boy, you're just a pup"
They sent him to a napalm health spa to shape up.

They gave him dope to smoke, drinks and pills,
A jeep to drive, blood to spill.

They said, "Congratulations, you got what it takes"
They sent him back into the rat race without any brakes.

He was a clean-cut kid
But they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did.

He bought the American dream but it put him in debt
The only game he could play was Russian roulette.

He drank Coca-Cola, he was eating Wonder Bread,
Ate Burger Kings, he was well fed.

He went to Hollywood to see Peter O'Toole
He stole a Rolls Royce and drove it in a swimming pool.

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did.

He could've sold insurance, owned a restaurant or bar
Could've been an accountant or a tennis star.

He was wearing boxing gloves, took a dive one day
Off the Golden Gate Bridge into China Bay.

His mama walks to floor, his daddy weeps and moans
They gotta sleep together in a home they don't own.

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did.

Well, everybody's asking why he couldn't adjust
All he ever wanted was somebody to trust.

They took his head and turned it inside out
He never did know what it was all about.

He had a steady job, he joined the choir
He never did plan to walk the high wire.

They took a clean-cut kid
And they made a killer out of him,
That's what they did.

Kerry's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

GOP Tax Myth & Junk Economics

If there's one thing all Republican politicians are really good at, it's straight-up lying through their teeth about how their tax cuts for the rich are actually tax cuts for the middle-class.

Reagan did it, George W. Bush did it, and now that he's officially unveiled his own so-called tax reform plan, Donald Trump is doing it, too.

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