Bob Dylan Chops Up Zechariah

By Larry Fyffe

The Holy Biblical presents a rather cyclical view of history though there is supposed an “end time” coming at some unknown time in the future.

For example Elijah gives up for a time trying to convert the wayward, but God doesn’t.

He later sends another drought upon Baal-worshippers, famine symbolized by black horses, and the Zoroastrian Persians are victorious; they allow the Hebrews to return home from exile to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple there.

To Zechariah explains an angel of the Lord that the north country of Babylonia has got its just desserts:

The black horses which are therein go forth to the north country
And the white horses go forward after them ....
Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying
Behold, these that go to the north country have quieted my spirit 
   in the north country

(Zechariah 6: 6,8)

The prophet tells the Hebrews, as long as  they do not slack off again, that Northern Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem shall become as peaceful as the Garden of Eden:

And the streets of the city shall be
Full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof
(Zechariah 8: 5)

The false prophet Zechariah is brought back to life in the following quite ironic song lyrics – his head seems to be missing:

Bring it to the corner where the children play
You can bring it on a silver tray
I'll bring someone back to life, spare no expense
Do it with decency and common sense
(Bob Dylan: My Own version Of You)

The narrator in the song lyrics below tips over the tables on God’s plan that is supposed to bring back Eden, but doesn’t:

Black Rider,  black rider, tell me when, tell me how
If ever there was a time, then let it be now
Let me go through, open the door
My soul is distressed, my mind is at war
Don't hug me, don't flatter me, don't turn on the charm
I'll take a sword, and hack off your arm 
(Bob Dylan: Black Rider)

God’s plan instead allows human history to repeat the same damn scenerio over and over again.

So expressed below; the horse riders have been on the job too long:

All the tired horses in the sun
How am I supposed to get any riding done
All the tired horses in the sun
How am I supposed to get any riding done
(Bob Dylan: All The Tired Horses)

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  1. Yes, the version above brings out the possibility of the near-pun ‘writing/riding’ a bit more; but the original version ( backed up in print) sounds closer to ‘riding’.

    Excuse my slow response…

    these damn hoofs/hooves, you gotta realize, make it extremely difficult —
    — neigh — almost impossible – – for me to use a typewriter!

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