One of the Many Days on Which “the Music Died”

Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Q: Why does it matter what really happened to John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 OR to Martin Luther King, Jr on April 4, 1968 OR to Robert F. Kennedy on June 6, 1968 OR to Malcolm X  on February 21. 1965  OR to Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone on October 25, 2002 OR, for that matter, to the three World Trade Center skyscrapers on September 11, 2001?


A: “The national leader of the people is only a figurehead and has no real power. Power lies behind the scenes within dark secrets. Others pull the strings of the politician puppets. If an upstart, politician puppet makes waves or rocks the boat or doesn’t play ball…that puppet gets eliminated. It is why Caesar was killed. It is why Kennedy was killed. If you disturb the real power structure, you can be targeted for removal. Such ‘assassinations’ demonstrate to the world who has the real power; it is a bloody statement of who is really in charge; and the truth is our secret rulers control from dark shadows.” -- Doug Yurchey

“Don't worry, Mr. President, help's on the way. Your brothers are coming, there'll be hell to pay.

“Brothers? What brothers? What's this about hell?

Tell them, ‘We're waiting, keep coming’. We'll get them as well.” – Excerpt from “Murder Most Foul”, Dylan’s song about the JFK assassination

 “I can’t remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside the day the music died.

“Did you write the Book of Love? And do you have faith in God above?
Do you believe in rock n’ roll? Can music save your mortal soul?
I was a lonely, teenage broncin’ buck with a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck the day the music died.”

Excerpt from Don McLean’s “American Pie” (about the tragic plane crash deaths of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valenz on February 3, 1959 – an event that deeply affected Robert Zimmerman, who had just seen Holly perform in Duluth, Minnesota 3 days earlier, on January 31, 1959

 "If by a 'Liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people - their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal', then I'm proud to say I'm a 'Liberal'. " --- John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

 To view what is perhaps the best video of Dylan’s classic song, click on:

A thorough assessment of this politically important song can be read at:

 Murder Most Foul

 By Bob Dylan (17 minutes, 1384 words)

 Twas a dark day in Dallas, November '63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin' high
Good day to be livin' and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, "Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?"
"Of course we do, we know who you are"
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts, we've come to collect
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 watchin', 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
Wolfman, oh Wolfman, oh Wolfman, howl
Rub-a-dub-dub, it's a murder most foul


Hush, little children, you'll understand
The Beatles are comin', they're gonna hold your hand
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
I'm goin' to Woodstock, it's the Aquarian Age
Then I'll go to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window, let the good times roll
There's a party goin' on behind the Grassy Knoll

Stack up the bricks, pour the cement
Don't say Dallas don't love you, Mr. President
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Blackface singer, whiteface clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
I'm in the red-light district, like a cop on the beat
Livin' in a Nightmare on Elm Street
When you're down in Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe
Don't ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the barrelhead, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make a left-hand turn

I'm goin' down to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope, and charity died
Shoot him while he runs, boy, shoot him while you can
See if you can shoot the invisible man
Goodbye, Charlie, goodbye, Uncle Sam
Frankly, Miss Scarlet, I don't give a damn
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


Tommy, can you hear me? I'm the Acid Queen
I'm riding in a long, black Lincoln limousine
Riding in the backseat next to my wife
Heading straight on in to the afterlife
I'm leaning to the left, I got my head in her lap
Hold on, I've been led into some kind of a trap
Where we ask no quarter, and no quarter do we give
We're right down the street from the street where you live
They mutilated his body and they took out his brain
What more could they do? They piled on the pain
But his soul is not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they've been searchin' for that

Freedom, oh freedom, freedom over me
I hate to tell you, mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin', tell me no lies
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake up, little Suzie, let's go for a drive
Cross the Trinity River, let's keep hope alive
Turn the radio on, don't touch the dials
Parkland hospital, only six more miles
You got me dizzy, Miss Lizzy, you filled me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I'm just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind

Got blood in my eye, got blood in my ear
I'm never gonna make it to the new frontier
Zapruder's film, I've seen that before
Seen it thirty-three times, maybe more
It's vile and deceitful, it's cruel and it's mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once and they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice
The day that they killed him, someone said to me, "Son
The age of the Antichrist has just only begun"
Air Force One comin' in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at 2:38
Let me know when you decide to throw in the towel
It is what it is, and it's murder most foul


What's new, pussycat? What'd I say?
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it's beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it's thirty-six hours past Judgment Day
Wolfman Jack, he's speaking in tongues
He's going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr. Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play me that, "Only The Good Die Young"
Take me to the place Tom Dooley was hung
Play, "St. James Infirmary" and, "The Port of King James"
If you want to remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James, too, play "I'd Rather Go Blind"
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker, play "Scratch My Back"
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim going down slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe

 Play, "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
Play it for the First Lady, she ain't feeling too good
Play Don Henley, play Glenn Frey
Take it to the limit and let it go by
Play it for Carl Wilson, too
Looking far, far away down Gower Avenue
Play, "Tragedy" play, "Twilight Time"
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and, "Another One Bites the Dust"
Play, "The Old Rugged Cross" and, "In God We Trust"

Ride the pink horse down that long, lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play, "Mystery Train" for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend, play it for the Pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson, play Stan Getz
Play, "Blue Sky", play Dickey Betts
Play Hot Pepper, Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and, "All That Jazz"
Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz

Play Buster Keaton, play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel, play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play the numbers , play the odds
Play, "Cry Me A River" for the Lord of the gods
Play Number Nine, play Number Six
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks
Play Nat King Cole, play, "Nature Boy"
Play, "Down In The Boondocks" for Terry Malloy
Play, "It Happened One Night" and, "One Night of Sin"
There's twelve million souls that are listening in
Play, "Merchant of Venice" play, "Merchants of Death"
Play, "Stella by Starlight" for Lady Macbeth

 Don't worry, Mr. President, help's on the way
Your brothers are coming, there'll be hell to pay
Brothers? What brothers? What's this about hell?
Tell them, "We're waiting, keep coming"
We'll get them as well

Love Field is where his plane touched down
But it never did get back up off the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the rising sun

Play, "Misty" for me and, "That Old Devil Moon"
Play, "Anything Goes" and, "Memphis in June"
Play, "Lonely At the Top" and, "Lonely Are the Brave"
Play it for Houdini spinning ‘round in his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play, "Lucille"
Play, "Deep In a Dream" and play "Driving Wheel"
Play, "Moonlight Sonata" in F-sharp
And, "A Key To The Highway" for the king of the harp
Play, "Marching Through Georgia" and, "Dumbarton's Drums"
Play, "Darkness" and death will come when it comes
Play, "Love Me Or Leave Me" by the great Bud Powell
Play, "The Blood-stained Banner" play, "Murder Most Foul"

 Murder Most Foul lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group