Links to past episodes and to all the cover versions used within this series are both given at the end of the article.
by Larry Fyffe
Clear as a bell, the breaking of the Dylavinci Code reveals that Christ, while brushing the dusty ashes off His nose, is not at all fond of Maggie Magdalene’s father who’s had an affair with Mother Mary.
Cyrus Magdala puts his cigar out in the face of his “stepson” just for kicks.
In the song lyrics below, Bob Dylan, transfigured as Jesus, let’s it be known that He does not like His daddy-o “stepfather” very much.
Pieced together from fragments in the Holy Grail, the authentic goblet stored in the Untold Archives Department:
You mistreat me, baby I can't see no reason why You know that I'd kill for you And that I'm not afraid to die But you treat me like a stepchild Oh no, am I your stepchild (Bob Dylan: Stepchild)
Jesus gets His own back by running off with His “half-sister” Maggie Magdalene.
Note that Jesus says He’s “not afraid to die”, suggesting either that He can’t be killed or that He’s an escape artist.
Ominous sounding is the rather ambiguous, perhaps hyperbolic, line “You know I’d kill for you”.
More to the point, an elongated ‘murder ballad” may be blowing in the wind. Could be that Christ’s already had a Libyan die on the cross in His place.
The only thing we know sure about the narrator is that his name’s not Bob Dylan, and he’s now protecting his child, given birth to by Magdalene.
Jesus could even be the Devil, a man who says He comes in peace while wearing a long, but oddly colourful black coat, the dark angel responsible for humankind becoming mortal:
He looked into her eyes when she stopped him to ask If he wanted to dance, he had a face like a mask Somebody said from the Bible he'd quote There was dust on the man in the long black coat (Bob Dylan: Man In The Long Black Coat)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Utah, daughter Sophia Sarah tells her daddy that God is not a unit composed of three parts, but there exists three separate Gods – besides Jesus Christ, there’s the Hobogod, and she’s the Holy Ghost.
No wonder Dylan as Jesus gets a headache:
Well, early in the morning To late at night I got a poison headache But I feel alright I'm pledging my time to you Hoping you'll come through too (Bob Dylan: Pledging My Time)
The story goes on and on, round and round in circles – just like the mysterious-travelling Hobogod.
Fragments pasted back together tell us that originally the song quoted below is entitled “Stuck Inside Of Utah With The Memphis Egyptian Blues Again”:
And the ragman draws circles Up and down the block I'd ask him what the matter is But I know he don't talk (Bob Dylan: Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again)
Cover versions in this series
- Abandoned Love – Sean Keane
- Ahab The Arab -Ray Stevens
- Angelina -Bob Dylan
- Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream -John Bull And The Bandits
- Changing Of The Guards -Whitley & Lang
- Changing Of The Guards -Gaslight Anthem
- Crossing The Rubicon -Bob Dylan
- Drifter’s Escape -George Thorogood/Destroyers
- Duquesne Whistle -Benmont Tench
- False Prophet -Bob Dylan
- Going to Acapulco – Calexico
- Goodbye Jimmy Reed -Bob Dylan
- Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar -Elkie Brooks
- Handy Dandy -Bob Dylan
- High Water – Joan Osborne
- Highway 61 Revisited -Ross Scrivener
- Highway 61 Revisited – Ben Sidran
- I Contain Multitudes -Emma Swift
- I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine – John Doe
- Idiot Wind -Gerard Quintana
- Idiot Wind -The Coal Porters
- I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight -Robert Palmer
- Isis – Julie Corbalis
- Isis -White Stripes
- Just Like A Woman -Old Crow Medicine Show
- Little Maggie – Bob Dylan
- Lord Protect My Child -Susan Tedeshi
- Maggie’s Farm -Chicken Diamond
- Maggie’s Farm -The Specials
- Maggie’s Farm – Zero Prophet
- Maggie’s Farm – Jimmy Vivino And The Black Italians
- Mary And The Soldier – Bob Dylan
- Memphis Blues – HC Handy
- My Own Version Of You -Bob Dylan
- Not Dark Yet: Lucinda Williams
- Oh Sister – Stanilsaw Sojka
- Precious Angel – The Weather Station
- Pretty Mary -Bob Dylan/Band
- Ring Them Bells -Muscle And Bone
- Ring Them Bells – McCrary Sisters
- Rocky Racoon -Charlie Parr
- Romance In Durango – Julie Felix
- Romance In Durango -Gerard Quintana
- Romance In Durango – Starry Eyed and Laughing
- Scarlet Town -Bob Dylan
- Seeing The Real You At Last -Bettye Lavette
- Simple Twist of Fate – Emma Swift
- Sign On The Window -Al Turk
- Sign On the Window – Sarah Jarosz
- Slow Train – Clas Yngstrom
- Stuck inside Of Mobile – North Mississippi Alstars
- Summer Days -Brothers Lazaroff
- Talking World War III Blues -Toni Vescoli
- Tears of Rage – Odissed
- Things have changed – String Swing
- Time Passes Slowly: Judy Collins
- Times they are a changing – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
- Tin Angel – Bob Dylan
- Visions Of Johanna – Stephen Inglis
- Wedding Song – Maria Muldaur
Untold Dylan was created in 2008 and is published daily – currently twice a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. Details of some of our series are given at the top of the page and in the Recent Posts list, which appears both on the right side of the page and at the very foot of the page (helpful if you are reading on a phone). Some of our past articles which form part of a series are also included on the home page.
Articles are written by a variety of volunteers and you can read more about them here If you would like to write for Untold Dylan, do email with your idea or article to Tony@schools.co.uk. Our readership is rather large (many thanks to Rolling Stone for help in that regard). Details of some of our past articles are also included on the home page.
We also have a Facebook site with over 13,000 members.