By Tony Attwood with many thanks to Shmuel Berger.
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The news that Bob Dylan’s catalogue of songs has been sold made the headlines this week, but tucked away in the small print were several issues that the mass media did not raise, and which really do need fulsome investigation.
One item of course, as you will have realised at once, is that the publisher only bought the rights to 600 songs, whereas as we know there are many more than this. So the hunt is on for the missing songs from the publishers list which are presumably now owned by no one.
Untold Dylan has already stepped in with an offer of $30 for the lot (a reduced price given the fact that we have already done the work of finding them and putting them on this site). We’ll be publishing our list of copyright free Bob in due course.
But before that there is the issue of cleaning up the songs as the publishers have issued a list of words that will need to be removed from Bob’s songs. These words fall into several categories, of which the first one we shall tackle is sexism.
So here we go with the reworked titles for sexually correct Bob as licensed by the new copyright owner.
She Belongs to Me is a good place to start, as it involves issues both of sexism and modern slavery, and so that song now becomes “This person does not belong to me as possession of another person were not a crime in the United States and most of Western Society.”
She’s my baby will now be known as “If this person were a minor then I would have responsibility for that person but otherwise that person, whose sexual orientation is not an issue here, is a free individual.”
She’s on my mind again is henceforth to be known as “That person is on my mind, but not in any sort of nasty way and there is nothing possessive about it.”
She’s your lover now henceforth becomes “Why can’t we all just be friends”
Shelter from the storm has a title which of course is no problem at all but the opening line must be changed to “The person that I have met has everything that any free minded person in a liberal democracy would need and is entitled to, and is free to pursue her or his life in the creative arts but it would be wrong of me to comment upon her or his physical appearance.” A little re-writing of the melody and rhythm might be required.
My Woman She’s a Leavin’ will now be known as “Everyone may come and go as everyone pleases as long as each person does not stray onto a military facility or other restricted area.”
I don’t believe you (She acts like we never have met) is now “I don’t believe you, but this has nothing to do with your declared sexuality whatsoever.”
Covenant Woman (see She Belongs to Me)
Just like a woman Obviously this is now “Just like a person”.
Love Minus Zero. A bit of a problem here but we might try
My love whose sexual self-identification I shall not mention says nothing, My love has no need to speak as my love is true unto herself Other elements may apply here People carry roses, Make promises by the hours, My love over whom I claim no possession, has a nice laugh And we have nothing to do with outmoded symbols of possession
Someday Baby is considered irredeemable and will be removed from the catalogue.
Rainy Day Women must now be sung as “Rainy Day People” of course.
Let me come baby has now been withdrawn from the internet for reasons that we cannot make clear at this point.
Baby coming back from the dead is henceforth to be referred to as “Reincarnation is open to everyone irrespective of their sexual orientation”.
Baby I’m in the mood for you is also having a name change to “I like everyone no matter what… etc etc”
Baby Stop Crying is “It it not appropriate for grown people of any orientation to shed tears except when happy and that person is in possession of a licence from the appropriate authorities, not that this is an authoritarian state of anything but we do need to keep things in order.”
Baby won’t you be my baby now will listed as “Person won’t you be my person?” (Good punctuation is important).
I’ll be your baby tonight is particularly problematic but for the moment will be listed in the new catalogue as “The swapping of children from one family to another without the agreement of the state is a crime in numerous jurisdictions.”
Additionally, when Bob resumes touring the announcer will not say “Ladies and Gentleman” when introducing “Columbia recording artist Bob Dylan.” In fact it is just better if he remains quiet.
So there you are. Just remember, “everyone belongs to the publishing company.” Stay with that thought and you won’t go far wrong.
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