Wow. A haunting lyrical masterpiece released by Bob Dylan on March 26 2020 about an event on November 22, 1963 that changed the world …a horrible event that the country has never recovered from and that is still painful for those of us who remember. The lyric is about the Kennedy Assassination with many references to alleged conspirators as well as to the consequences of the murder. The video was released on You Tube on March 26, 2020 and as of today (May 09) has generated over 3.4 million views.
Posthumous official presidential portrait (cropped) of President John F. Kennedy painted by Aaron A. Shikle in 1970. Photo credit: The White House / Wikimedia
Reference To Conspiracy
“We’re gonna kill you with hatred, 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”.
“The day they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching, no one saw a thing”
“What is the truth, and where did it go?
Ask Oswald and Ruby, they oughta know
“Shut your mouth, ” said the wise old owl
Business is business, and it’s a murder most foul”
Reference to the Planning and Execution of the Murder and the Controversial ‘Magic Bullet Theory’ (which attempted to suggest all bullets were fired by one assassin shooting from behind).
“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”
“Put your head out the window, let the good times roll/There’s a party going on behind the Grassy Knoll.”
Reference to David Ferrie and Guy Bannister both of whom were associated with Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans in the months prior to the murder. Also a reference to the so-called ‘Three Tramps’ who were temporarily detained the Dallas police in Dealey Plaza moments after the killing.
“Slide down the banister, go get your coat/Ferry cross the Mersey and go for the throat/There’s three bums comin’ all dressed in rags/Pick up the pieces and lower the flags.
Reference to Oswald’s Claim that he was Innocent
“I’m just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind”
Supports of the Warren Commission claim Oswald was a lone nut killer who committed the crime to become famous. But Oswald adamantly claimed he was innocent and was a ‘patsy’. In other words Oswald said he was set up to be the fall guy.
Reference to the Time Period Just After The Assassination
The Beatles had their first hit in the United States in December 1963, just weeks after the assassination to be followed by their American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.
“The Beatles are comin’, they’re gonna hold your hand.”
Reference to the Years that Followed
“I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it’s beginning to go into a slow decay”
JFK was the last American President to stand up to the CIA, the Military Industrial Complex and the notion that we need to be in a war or on a war footing in order for the economy to do well. It is now 57 years later…
The Title ‘Murder Most Foul’
The title of the recording ‘Murder Most Foul’ likely references a scene from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. During an early scene in the play a ghost of Prince Hamlet’s father (King Hamlet) tells Prince Hamlet that he, the former king, was murdered and he refers to his own killing as a “Murder Most Foul”. He tells Prince Hamlet that he was killed by the new King Claudius, the brother of King Hamlet and uncle to Prince Hamlet.
There was also a self published book called ‘Murder Most Foul’ published in 1967 that challenged the conclusions of the controversial Warren Commission. The Warren Commission attempted to make the case that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone nut assassin who fired from behind. The ‘Oswald as Lone Nut Theory’ was based on the so-called ‘Magic Bullet Theory’ that attempted to demonstrate there was only one gunman.
WATCH/LISTEN ‘Murder Most Foul’ Bob Dylan