For Bob Dylan, The Bun Is The Lowest Form Of Wheat

by Larry Fyffe

Who among us can resist munching on a pun? A sure food it is to shore up lyrics, according to singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. There’s more double-entendre word play in Dylan’s song lyrics than there are grains of sand fluttering on the branches of a beech tree.

Nod a ‘howdy’ to Buddy the Kid:

Well look-it here, buddy
You just want to be like me
Pull out your six-shooter
And rob every bank you can see

(Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan’s Blues)

Or try to measure up to Santa Claus, and the size of his bag of treats:

Well, I go to pet your monkey
I get a face full of claws
I ask, ‘Who’s in the fireplace?’
And you tell me, ‘Santa Claus’

(Bob Dylan: On The Road Again)

Drop a line in; see whether or not the Fisherman’s Daughter bites:

And then I kiss your lips as I lift your veil
But you’re gone, and all I seem to recall
Is the smell of your perfume
And your golden loom

(Bob Dylan: Golden Loom)

Visit the House across the road, and say ‘Hi’ to Heidi the Whore:

I took out my little penknife
And showed it this rake
He looked at me as if to say
You’re making a mistake

(Bob Dylan et al: Hidee Hidee Ho)

Metonymy is a trope that that substitutes an adjunct for the whole:

You see this one-eyed midget
Shouting the word, ‘Now’
And you say for what reason?’
And he says, ‘How?’

(Bob Dylan: Ballad Of A Thin Man)

Bob Dylan’s pen is punishing everybody:

Now, every boy and girl’s gonna get their bang
‘Cause Tiny Montgomery’s gonna shake that thing
Tell everybody down in ol’ Frisco
That Tiny Montgomery’s comin’ down to say, ‘Hello’.

(Bob Dylan: Tiny Montgomery)

Apparently, size matters:

Everybody’s building ships and boats
Some are building monuments, others are jotting down notes
Everybody’s in despair, every girl and boy
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here, everybody’s gonna jump for joy

(Bob Dylan: The Mighty Quinn)

Time to invite Our Lady of the Lay over for lunch:

Why wait any longer for the world to begin
You can have your cake and eat it too
Why wait any longer for the one you love
When he’s standing in front of you?

(Bob Dylan: Lay Lady Lay)

Or, perhaps, take ol’ Mother Goose horseback riding in the park: 

Saddle me up my big white goose
Tie me on’er, turn her loose
Oh me, oh my
Love that country pie

(Bob Dylan: Country Pie)

Seriously, Dylan’s song lyrics are all messed up, and confused; the songster  simply oughta say what he’s talkin’ about. For example, I have no idea what ‘country pie’ in the above song actually means.

Maybe some of our ‘Untold’ readers can help us out.

What else is on the site

You’ll find an index to our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

The index to the 500+ Dylan compositions reviewed is now on a new page of its own.  You will find it here.  It contains reviews of every Dylan composition that we can find a recording of – if you know of anything we have missed please do write in.

We also have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook.  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews.


  1. The less said about this one the better…

    She was here yesterday but she’s gone today
    And when she left she took my fur slippers away.


  2. Good point! ….the less said about this the better …., I refrained from mentioning the ‘fur slippers’ as I, like you, Aaron, did not want to attract the ire of animal right groups .

    Those baby seals are cute, ain’t they?

  3. **showed it to this drake

    is likely an earlier version that Dylan later uses in Gave Names To All The Animals as previously pointed out by the two intrepid interpretors of Dylan lyrics.

  4. I can’t be the one to tell you what that ‘country pie’ really really means, Larry. To add to the mystery, we have this from much later: ‘I got the pork chop, she’s got the pie/she ain’t no saint but neither am I.’ Maybe it’s the same pie. (hint hint)
    And what about those ‘spice buns in bed’ (Foot of Pride) Spicy puns?
    Sound like they’re getting ready for the feast…

  5. Ah, yes, – no doubt – a witch’s brew featuring a
    ‘pork chop’, and ‘foot of pride’ to put in her pie.

    I think we’re finally getting somewhere as to what these songs actually mean …. so many readers have their minds in the gutter and misinterpret the lyrics….they confuse things when Dylan’s simply talking about a cockbook. .. I mean a cookbook …. excuse the spelling error.

  6. Yes, wonderful to feel we’re finally getting somewhere in penetrating, as it were, the hierarchies of symbolism in the Master’s songs. Most Dylan interpretations are of the pie-in-the-sky variety, y’ know, muckraking Dylan’s life. Consider the following exalted lines:
    ‘I bit into the root
    of the forbidden fruit
    with the juice running down my leg’ (Where Are you…)

    Looks like we’re gonna have to add roots and fruits to pork chops and pies and feet and re do that cockbook (Oops, it catching..) before we nail the curtains for the feast, Larry…

Leave a Reply

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