Songs Linked To Tarantula and The Talking Mule

By Larry Fyffe

Songs Linked To Tarantula

(D)ictator wires for more candy
- US sending in marines
& arnold stang
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Arnold Stang plays “Peewee”, a US soldier, in the movie “Dondi” (based on a newspaper cartoon). Features David Janssen and Patti Page.

An orphaned Italian boy stows away on a ship returning American troops to New York City.

The following lyrics sung in that film:

There's a meadow in the sky
Where breezes spin the silver willow tree
Where you and I can leave our worldly cares
And wander anywhere we please
(Patti Page: Meadow In The Sky ~ Garson/Shuman)

Similar to the Edenic theme in a previously mentioned song:

I was just rambling through
Through the streets of Laredo
Just another stranger that day
On my way to anywhere

(Patti Page: Streets Of Laredo ~ Evans/Livingston)

Brings to mind by association the following improvised song lyrics:

Patty gone to Laredo
But she be back soon
Left Jamaica this morning
On a boat Bonnie Lou
(Bob Dylan: Patty Gone To Laredo)

The “Tarantula” informs us that all’s not well here, there, and everywhere:

& Lord Randall playing with a quart of beer
- Fanny Blair dragging a judge
- Willie Moore, a shoemaker, who counts his thumbs with a switchblade ...
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

The following ballad from the Old Country – about a poisoning:

Oh, where have you been, Lord Randall, my son
Oh, where have you been, my bonnie young man
I've been to the wild wood; mother, make my bed soon
For I'm weary of hunting, and I fain would lie down
(Ewan MacColl: Lord Randall ~ traditional)

This one from there too – about a false accusation:

It was last Monday morning, I lay in my bed
A young friend came to me, and unto me said
Rise up, Henry Higgins, and flee you elsewhere
For they're bound out against you by young Fanny Blair
(A.L. Lloyd: Fanny Blair ~ traditional)

Bob Dylan meets ‘Bert’ Lloyd and MacColl way back at the Singers Club in London, England.

Another death song –  the one below, an American Appalachia song, about Anna who drowns herself because her parents would not consent to her marrying the man she loves:

Willie Moore was a king, age twenty-one
Courted a lady fair
Her eyes were like two diamonds bright
Raven black was her hair
 (Joan Baez: Willie Moore ~ Baez/traditional)


The Talking Mule  

More suggestions for song and dance numbers in Untold’s production of “Tarantula: The Musical” by Bob Dylan.

Charles Starkweather (later executed for his deadly deeds), and his younger girlfriend Caril Fugate go on a killing rampage in Nebraska and Wyoming.

All makes for good entertainment as far as those in the media industry are concerned:

(T)hese people consider themselves gourmets 
for not attending charlie starkweather's funeral
ye gads the champagne being appropriate pagan 
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula )

The lyrics below, from the soundtrack of ‘Natural Born Killers”, a movie inspired by Starkweather and Fugate’s bloody spree:

See the pyramids along the Nile
Watch the sun rise from a tropic isle
Just remember, darling, all the while
You belong to me
(Bob Dylan: You Belong To Me)

Let’s not forget that senators and businessmen have their troubles too:

He is on a prune diet
& secretly wishes he was bing crosby
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)


She sailed at the dawning
All day I've been blue
Red sails in the sunset
I'm trusting on you
(Bing Crosby: Red Sails In The Sunset ~ Kennedy/Grosz)

Bringing it all back home – lyrics beneath with same tune as above:

I'm touched with desire
What don't I do
Through the flame and fire
I'll build my world around you
(Bob Dylan: Beyond The Horizon ~  Dylan/Kennedy/Grosz)

There be other musicians and singers in the Tarantula pilgrimage from which to choose:

& it sounds like john lee (!!!!!!) coming
& oh Lord louder like a train
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

That is,  guitar-player and blues-singer John Lee Hooker.

Not to be confused with the rockabilly piano-player:

... (I) shall have to recommend that you place 
jerry lee lewis first and foremost
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

There’s Jose the piano player from “The Tonight Show”, hosted by Jack Paar; and then there’s Don the dancer with Francis, the talking mule.

Someone shouts out that freedom’s great:

(I)s it possible that jose melis could have said it? 
perhaps donald o'connor? 
i happen to be a library janitor, so could you please clarify things 
a little for me, thank you 
(Bob Dylan: Tarantula)

Likely, it was the mule.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *