Bob Dylan And The Dylavinci Code (Part XXI)

by Larry Fyffe

Links to all the cover versions used in this series are given at the end of  the article, as well as links to all the previous articles themselves.



According to the Holy Bible, after the ‘crucifixion’ of Jesus, a disciple from Damascus convinces Paul (Saul) to convert to Christianity:

And Ananias went  his way
And entered into the house
And putting his hands on him said
"Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus ....
Hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight
And be filled with the Holy Ghost"
(Acts 9: 17)

The Dylavinvi Code cracked in the song lyrics quoted beneath, reveals that floating time-traveller/shape-shifter Bob Dylan elaborates on the above biblical narrative.

The singer/ songwriter mixes modern-day celebrities into the soupy tale – i.e., like entertainers Errol Flynn and Dorothy Lamour (she stars in “Hello Dolly”).

He cloaks himself in the persona of the early Christian disciple Ananias.

Dylanias visits Paul, calling him his ‘brother’, who’s been locked up in the royal prison in Rome by Nero, falsely accused of setting the fire there:

He had a brother named Paul out at the cafe royal
Where Miss Dolly plays, and the reviews have been mixed
(Bob Dylan: Too Late)

The Code deciphered makes it quite clear that Ananias hears about the ‘crucifixion’ of Jesus; under questioning by secular and religious authorities, the disciple says he does not remember, or at least claims he doesn’t, whether it’s been rumoured that Jesus escapes death because he can’t actually be killed, or because a Libyan is put in place of Jesus on the cross.

Dylan as Ananias explains:

Well whether there was a murder, I don't know
I was busy visiting  a friend in jail
(Bob Dylan: Too Late)

Actress Amanda Blake plays Marshall Dillon’s girlfriend in TV “Gunsmoke” series; in the song ‘Too Late’, strangely beautiful Magdalene is encoded by Dylanias as Blake, the girlfriend of Jesus.

Magdalene comes from the shore of the Sea of Galilee:

But then there's  Rosetta Blake
Who's been on both sides of the lake
She's rough to look at, but she's righteously fit
She'll feed you coconut bread, and spiced buns in bed
(Bob Dylan: Too Late)

Whatever the crucifixion case may be, Ananias states that Christ and Mary Magdalene have sailed off to America.

Says he, the details of what happened consequently don’t matter:

Yes, I loved him too
I still see him in my mind climbing up the hill
Or was it a wall, I don't recall
It don't matter at all, and it never will
(Bob Dylan: Too Late)

Lightening flashes, and, one way or the other, Jesus Christ, the drifter, escapes in the confusion.

He’s over the wall, like Errol Flynn.


Index to past episodes



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