Five fantastic Bob Dylan story songs

You should listen to these five songs today.

R. Diamond/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next

"Murder Most Foul" (2020)

As Dallas, 1963 fades further into history, the Kennedy assassination will enter a new phase. Firsthand accounts will dwindle and it will become history, divorced from current events by time memory. Dylan was not there to see John Kennedy assassinated, but like the rest of the country, he was old enough to be wounded.

His epic account of that day may be the last time someone who was old enough to remember the event may write about its impact. If so, "Murder Most Foul" provides a potent summation of an assassination that has never stopped rippling through American consciousness.

It's 17 minutes of memory backed by a mournful cello, a violin, and several blended keyboards. Drums and the occasional cymbal crash creep along in the distance. Dylan's voice also comes from memory, recalling all manner of pop culture from the era - references that continually butt up against the brutality of cold-blooded murder.

In the middle of it all, Dylan offers his clearest statement: "The day they killed him someone said to me, 'Son -- The day of the antichrist has just only begun." "Murder Most Foul" is about the Kennedy assassination, but it is about far more than that. It is about the demise of America. It positions the killing at the forefront of a long, dwindling cycle of the snuffing out of hope whenever it dares raise its head. It is a hypnotic tale, fitting for the end of the era, fittingly told by a Nobel laureate.

Honorable mentions: “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest," "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts,” and “Hurricane.”

Read more from AudioPhix

manual