Without warning, Bob Dylan released a 17-minute-long single, "Murder Most Foul," referencing JFK assassination and more, last night, March 26.
"Murder Most Foul" is Dylan's new track after eight years, with the last being "Tempest" in 2012. In hisTwitter post late last night, Dylan wrote, "Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years" before noting that this is an unreleased single recorded a while back.
"Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you."
The video is available for streaming and download across major platforms including Amazon and Apple Music, iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Youtube.
While "Mr. Tambourine Man" has never revealed any hints of the song in any previous statements, Rolling Stone notes that "his delicate vocal delivery" is similar to his previous live performances for the last couple of years.
As the lengthy song begins, it appears to narrate the assasisination of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, describing it as "a dark day in Dallas, November '63" and recounting the former president as "being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb."
After a grim and curious recollection of the incident he described as "murder most foul," hence the title, the rest of the new Bob Dylan single drops chronological references to the rest of the decade onwards. The following stanzas mention The Beatles, whose careers began in the 60s, plus a reference to their breakthrough single in the United States, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" back in October '64.
Also, the famous Woodstock was also mentioned in the song. In its first incarnation before the turn of the decade, in 1969, it was billed as "an Aquarian exposition." Furthermore, Dylan himself was in talks to play in the music event but was unable to do so.
As the song progresses through time, it still loops back with references to the infamous 1963 incident. "What is the truth, and where did it go/Ask Oswald and Ruby; they oughta know," the song says. Lee Harvey Oswald was the sniper who assassinated JFK and Jack Ruby being the local barkeep who killed Oswald and would soon die of an illness while under custody.
The American artist has been a prominent part of the music, literary, and visual art scenes through his works that span more than five decades, since he travelled to New York to become a musician. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, Bob Dylan would go and create genre-bending hits including the pop-rock "Like a Rolling Stone" and country singles "Nashville Skyline" and "New Morning."
Some of his early songs "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin" would find widespread recognition as they were adapted into anthems by the civil rights movement and later on, the anti-war movement.
Aside from his work in music, he has also published books on drawings and paintings. He has also exhibited in most major art galleries in the world. The board of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize awarded Bob Dylan a special citation in 2008. In 2016, he became a Nobel laureate, having won the Nobel Prize in Literature.