I have to break up with Bob Dylan.
As you probably know by now, Bob Dylan is releasing a new album on June 19, Rough and Rowdy Ways, and he has dropped three songs from the double album by social media. Murder Most Foul, about the JFK assassination, I Contain Multitudes, and the lastest, released last night, False Prophet. The last lines of which clearly reject his Christian identity.
“No, I ain’t nobody’s Bride
can’t remember when I was born, forgot when I died’
Very direct for Bob-speak. We believers are the Bride of Christ. The being born he can’t remember is the time born again, and forgot when he fell out of belief.
I listened to the song five times in a row. The rest of the verses are hyperbolic bravado or dismal forecasts. Though crisp and hypnotic as always.
You can imagine how crushed I felt. I rejected him instantly once it was clear to me–a visceral reaction I cherish already–and now the gloom has set in.
This will be the first album of original work in eight years. All Dylan fans knew he would keep a blockbuster in his pocket for an end of career send off. His ego demanded it, and we fans depended on that ego to give us the full July 4th in DC Fireworks we craved. We Christian fans especially were sure that he was going to give us an all out testimony to an Orthodox understanding of the world in the inimitable Dylan language of Light.
Well, Bob is going Dark. Based on the first three songs, especially with False Prophet and the lines quoted above, it seems Bob has taken the Enemy’s bait. Though it must have been a very particular potion.
Unless of course, this is all an Operatic ruse on Dylan’s part, introducing a villain to be vanquished at album’s end. By the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. It’s not out of the question given Dylan idiosyncrasies. I’ve got my fingers clasped.
It’s a desperate prayer I know. But in fact I directed a significant portion of my own morning prayers–in the midst of pandemic horrors which should occupy that space–to Bob’s return to Christ.
Because I can tell this gut-punch, like finding your wife’s panties in your best friend’s gym bag, this is going to hurt for a long long time.