Donald Trump is president-elect. We thought you’d like to know what the bard might have to say about that.
Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for literature did manage to take our minds off the political season, but only for a short while.
Now that the excitement has died down, we’re back to politics as usual. And we’ve found that, although Dylan has never written a song about Donald Trump’s political campaign, a number of his songs provide pretty apt critiques.
Reportedly written as a critique of Ronald Reagan (though that seems like a stretch), the lyrics from this song on the album “Infidels” seem as if they could apply equally well to present-day politics.
You’re a man of the mountains, you can walk on the clouds/ Manipulator of crowds, you’re a dream twister/ You’re going to Sodom and Gomorrah/ But what do you care? Ain’t nobody there would want to marry your sister
2) “License to Kill”
Also from “Infidels,” this one is littered with portentous and evocative lyrics to suit even the most contentious debate.
Now, he’s hell-bent for destruction, he’s afraid and confused/ And his brain has been mismanaged with great skill/ All he believes are his eyes/ And his eyes, they just tell him lies
3) “Disease of Conceit”
Perhaps not the Bard’s finest moment — the rhymes are kinda rudimentary — but it seems a propos nevertheless.
There’s a whole lot of people dying tonight/ From the disease of conceit/ Whole lot of people crying tonight/ From the disease of conceit/ Comes right out of nowhere/ And you’re down for the count/ From the outside world/ The pressure will mount/ Turn you into a piece of meat/ The disease of conceit
4) “Positively Fourth Street”
Probably one of the nastiest hate poems of all time, and probably what a lot of political reporters are thinking when they walk out of a press conference.
You got a lotta nerve/ To say you got a helping hand to lend/ You just want to be on/ The side that’s winning
5) “Quit Your Lowdown Ways”
This one sounds positively mild mannered in the Peter, Paul & Mary rendition. The original, however, is blistering.
Well, you can run down to the White House/ You can gaze at the Capitol Dome, pretty mama/ You can pound on the President’s gate/ But you oughta know by now it’s gonna be too late/ You’re gonna need/ You’re gonna need my help someday/ Well, if you can’t quit your sinnin’/ Please quit your low down ways
6) “Idiot Wind”
Arguably Dylan’s masterpiece from his masterpiece of an album “Blood on the Tracks,” this track explodes with metaphor. Which means that it can be applied to many topics — even the Trump campaign.
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
7) “Early Roman Kings”
From Dylan’s most recent album of original material, “Tempest,” this one is rife with Biblical overtones and a timeless cautionary message.
They’re peddlers and they’re meddlers/ They buy and they sell/ They destroyed your city/ They’ll destroy you as well