Bob Dlyan: “Booging” The Rhyme 


By Larry Fyffe

Singer/song writer Bob Dylan messes with the song lyrics taken from other artists, and the rhymes therein.

In the traditional song lyrics below there’s the end rhyme ~ ‘man’/’can’

Oh, I don't like a railroad man
No, I don't like a railroad man
But the railroad man, they'll kill you when he can
And drink up your blood like wine
(Bascom Lunsford; I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground)

In the lyrics below, the end rhyme switches to ~ ‘wine’/’line’

Mona tried to tell me
To stay away from the train line
She said that all the railway men
Just drink up your blood like wine
(Bob Dylan: Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again)

The following lyrics are by a country bluesman:

I'm gonna buy me a pony
Can pace, fox-trot, and run
Lord, when you see me coming, pretty mama
I be on Highway Sixty-one
(Fred McDowell: Highway 61 Blues)

End rhymes ~ ‘run’/’one’

Beneath, the rhyme gets twisted around to ~ 'pace'/'face':

I got a new pony, she knows how to fox-trot, lope, and pace
She got great big hind legs
And long black shaggy hair above her face
(Bob Dylan: New Pony)

Not twisted much the rhyme in the lines below ~ ‘run’/’one’/’done’:

God say, "You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me coming, you better run"
Well, Abe said, "Where do you want this killing done?"
God said, "Out on Highway Sixty-one"
(Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited)

And so it goes:

I've got the key the highway
Yes, I feel I'm bound to go
I'm gonna leave here running
Because walking is most too slow
(Bill Broonzy: Key To The Highway ~ Segar/Broonzy)

The end rhyme ~ 'go'/'slow'

Follows is the rhyme twist ~’go’/’know’

Well,  Georgia Sam, he had a bloody nose
Welfare department, they wouldn't give him no clothes
He asked poor Howard, "Where can I go?"
Howard said, "There's only one place I know"
(Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited)

Above there’s also the end rhyme ~ ‘nose’/clothes’; beneath ~ ‘goes’/’clothes’- penned by a
“dirty blues” singer:

He gets up every morning, and before he goes
Say he don't want me to put my head out of my front door
You know he's booging me, yes he's booging me
And I'm getting sick and tired the way he's booging me
He won't buy me no shoes, he won't buy me no clothes
(Lucille Bogan: My Man Is Boogan Me)

The same end rhyme ~’nose’/’clothes’ – is repeated in the satirical song below:

Then my neighbour, he blew his nose
Just as Papa yelled outside
"Mama wants you to come back in the house, and bring them clothes"
(Bob Dylan: Clothes Line Saga)

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One comment

  1. *McDowell includes the verse with ‘Can pace, fox-trot, and run’ in other versions of the song.

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