Tarantula: “Shake that Spear” and “Hopalong Bob”

16: Shake That Spear

Writer D.H. Lawrence  joins the pilgrimage to New Babylon; cries out that the struggle to survive, and the sexual drive (pointed out by Charles Darwin), gets usurped by modern industrial capitalists.

In the lines below, Social Darwinism mocked ~ i.e., curly hair determines one’s destiny:

(T)he sight of george raft - richard nixon - liberace 
d.h. lawrence & pablo casals - all the same person
struggle -struggle
& your weapons of curls blowing
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Senator Joe McCarthy comes along; tells the Monk that he doesn’t like monkey-lovers:

(H)e don't like people that say
he comes from the monkeys
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Henry Miller jumps into the stream of consciousness and tells a tale of ‘hot’ sex.

Porno-Lit parodied below:

Grady O'lady comes in - gives everybody the nod
& wants to know where she can get a maid ....
O'lady takes an orange out of her pocket
"got this from Aztec country - watch me now boys"
she takes the orange & oozes & dribbles
all down her mouth all over her skirt -
more - more - she's all covered in orange
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Later on, a possible source of the above lyrics revealed:

I buyed me a little box about four acres square
filled it with guineas, and silver so fair
Oh now I'm bound for Turkey, I travel like an ox
And in my breeches pocket I carry my little box
(Bob Dylan: Taddle O'Day ~ traditional)

Street slang for ‘dirty sex’ hidden in a future song ~ in the lyrics quoted beneath:

Brownsville girl with your Brownsville curls
Teeth like pearls, shining like the moon above
Brownsville girl
Show me all around the world
Brownsville girl, you're my honey love
(Bob Dylan: Brownsville Girl ~ Dylan/Shepard)


“I’d walk a million miles for one of your smiles” sings back-faced Al Jolson ~ “My Mammy” (Young/Lewis/Donaldson).  Tarantsulated below: Al, the Jewish performer drops into a theatre to watch “Two Women”, an Italian-language movie that stars Sophia Loren in which a mother and daughter are raped by Moroccan ‘irregulars’ from the  Fench African colony who are fighting against the German Nazis in Italy.

Humphrey Bogart’s not there.

Hubris notwithstanding, apparently Jolson expects a postage stamp to be issued in his honour:

(I)n the winter a blackface musician announces
he is from Two Woman
he spends his free time trying to peel the moon
& he's here to collect his eight cent stamp
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Below, metonymically speaking with humour and wordplay abounding, Walter Scott, and George Eliot (a woman) get Shakespeared:

(O)k, so you used to get B's in the Ivanhoe tests
& A minuses in the silas marners
then you wonder why you failed hamlet exams
yeah well, that's because one hoe and one lass
do not make a spear
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

17: Hopalong Bob

William Boyd and Andy Clyde star in the western movie “Hoppy Serves A Writ”.

Milk-drinking black-clad, white-horsed, hard-riding lawman Bill “Hopalong” Cassidy, and his slapstick-sidekick “California” Carlson ride into Bob Dylan’s kaleidoscopic montage of movie stars acting as though they’re in the unfenced Old West – here supposedly located in Texas and Oklahoma.

The times they are a-changing.

“Talkies” take over. Silent movies are dead.

Nor do printed words talk:

(T)he audio repairman stumbles
thru the door with "sound is sacred
so come in and talk to us"
written on the back of his shirt
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Louis L’Amour grabs the opportunity to make money by writing noveletts about Hopalong’s adventures:

Into the Valley of Burlesque the cowboy angels ride.

Mocked be that any sexual activity is pretty well outlawed in those Hoppy Days whether in stories, at the movies, or on tv:

(O)ut of his past appears Insanely Hoppy
screaming and dancing
(Bob Dylan; Tarantula)

He holds up a stagecoach, and takes the strongbox that contains a nursery rhyme:

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie
He put in his thumb
And pulled other a plum
And said, " What a good boy am I"

Exchanges the nursery rhyme for a night of sex:

Listen to the fiddler play
When he's playing 'til the break of day
Oh me, oh my
Love that country pie
(Bob Dylan: Country Pie)

Sometimes things don’t go that well:

(E)xcept that I can't do anything with with my finger
& it's already beginning to smell
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Onward, onward rides Hoppy, with his sidekick, into New Babylon.

In pursuit of the Golden Calf:

(T)he american flag turned green
& andy clyde kept pestering about a back paycheck
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

They’re not alone, don’t forget:

& all the rest of these people
that would make leadbelly a pet
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)



  1. The mangled line “dn’t heard .. .” beneath Brownsville Girl doesn’t supposed to be there…

    “Hopalong” is a repeated article

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