- The Tarantula Crawls Across The Circus Floor and Arachnida Is Dead
- The Bride and the Return of Tarantula
- The Tarantula Files parts 4 and 5
By Larry Fyffe
Part 6: Mad, Bad, And A Stranger To Know
(C)ompared to the big day when you discovered lord byron shooting craps in the morgue with his pants off (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Byronic Man stays down in a dark hole most of the time.
‘Cept when he comes out to bite someone he wants to digest.
Said it might be that when atop his doghouse – wearing his “Tarantula” cape -, singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan is a self-centred Rimbaudian Poe-it, shooting popguns at everyone but himself.
But no…praise be to Neptune ~ though critical, the narrator also places himself on Desolation Row.
Below, lines about the protest songs of the day – mocked be one because it’s a traditional lullaby that’s supposed to stir up the masses.
Snappy Snoopy is out for blood:
(I) gave my love a cherry sure you did did you ask her how it tasted fool you also gave her a chicken n wonder you want to start a revolution (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Watered-down rhetoric surfaces as protest against the bourgeois establishment:
I gave my love a cherry That has no stone I gave my love a chicken That has no bone I gave my love a story that has no end And I gave my love a baby That has no crying (Pete Seeger: The Riddle Song ~ traditional)
“Crying-in-your-beer” country-and- western songs of the run-down members of the industrial working class, drawn away from their green romantic pastures, be another target of the bowman’s arrows:
(T)hrew away all of my lefty frizzell records also got rid of my parka you can keep my cow as I am now on my road to freedom (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
An example beneath of a hard-drinking city man:
If I only knew where to find her I'd crawl there on my hands and knees Each tick of the clock's a reminder She's one second farther from me She's gone, gone, gone Gone, gone , gone (Lefty Frizzell: She's Gone Gone Gone ~ Howard)
Time passes slowly so the Tarantula puts his cynical time-machine in obverse – at least for a while, he does:
I've been hanging onto threads I've been playing it straight Now, I've just got to cut loose Before it's too late So I'm going I'm going I'm gone (Bob Dylan: Going, Going, Gone)
For him, Christian hymns be not the opiate of the masses, but, hiding in the hemlock, the poisonous snake that curbs the desire that flows trough the heart of lonely individuals.
At the singer below stones are thrown, but she’s unsinkable – her Ship of Souls moves on (Franklin was torn between Jupiter and Apollo):
(A)retha pegged by choir boys & other pearls of mamas as too gloomy (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Part 7: Miss Lucy And Mr. Jinx
Said it could be that the pilgrims in Bob Dylan’s “Tarantula, on their way to New York City, are joined by one-legged satirist Al Capps, creator of the cartoon “Li’l Abner”;
From a Jewish background, the cartoonist becomes rich and famous ~ mocks Vietnam War protesters.
Further said it could be that Dylan burlesques Capp because the cartoonisrt becomes so mean-spirited.
Dylan writes the following antiwar lyrics:
Oh, his face was all shot up, and his hand was all blown off And he wore a metal brace around his waste He whispered kind of slow in a voice she did not know While she couldn't even recognize his face (Bob Dylan: John Brown)
In “Tarantula”, there’s Brown Dan who’s obversely given the the initials BD. Unable to go off to a foreign war where he could get his face blown off, Brown Dan sure knows how to deal with those anti-war protesters in America whom he claims support the Viet Cong.
When they come down to “Tex’s-ass”, that is:
(O)nward then when Brown Dan, the creep cop who likes to kill bullfrogs & whose boss keeps saying "he's got a bad knee but you oughta see him run, babe you oughta see'm run & chase them little chink lovers when they come down the river" (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
Dylan’s living in Hibbing, Minnesota, with his Jewish parents, when the Suez Crisis happens; and the Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel automobile.
Anti-Israel president Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal with the rhetorical support of Britain’s American cousins who criticize the Israeli, French, and British invasion of Egypt. A bit later, the American-made car Edsel turns out to be a ‘lemon’, not so the British-made Jaguar.
History obviously burlesqued in “Tarantula”.
“Peewee” therein perhaps the personification of America:
Peewee drops his cookies as up drives an XKE with Sandy Bob's cousin, Sandy Slim, who shows everybody his pictures of Nasser & says " hold it boys, I know all about these things - I used to work at the edsel factory" (Bob Dylan: Tarantula)
As Dylan’s book is ‘bootlegged’ before being officially published, conjectured it can be that ‘Peewee’ becomes the name of Al Capp’s cartoon character who’s a spoof of ‘wishy-washy’ Charlie Brown (from “Peanuts’, the newspaper cartoon by Charles Schultz).
In “Peanuts”, Lucy is always pulling away the football when Charlie Brown runs to kick it; in “Li’l Abner”, Joe Btfsplk, with a black cloud always over his head, is “The world’s worst Jinx!!”.
The two bathe in Jungian waters:
Mr. Jinx and Miss Lucy, They jumped in the lake I'm not that eager to make a mistake (Bob Dylan: Things Have Changed)