Bob Dylan releases 17-minute ballad, his first original song in 8 years

Bob Dylan has released his first original song in eight years as a gift to fans for their loyalty over his career. The 17-minute ballad mournfully tells the story of JFK’s assassination, set to piano, strings and light drums.

The singer announced the release of Murder Most Foul on social media last night, revealing that the track was “recorded a while back”. 

Bob Dylan
Photo: H. Thompson/Evening Standard

Murder Most Foul is dreamy yet haunting poetry for one of America’s darkest days. Bob Dylan’s 17-minute ballad chronicling the assassination of JFK is the singer’s first original song to be released in nearly eight years.

“Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years,” Dylan said announcing the track over Instagram. “This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting.”

Murder Most Foul candidly recalls the events of 1963, imagining Kennedy “being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb… they blew off his head while he was still in the car / shot down like a dog in broad daylight.”

The song continues to portray a vision of an America in decline since the events, with a sense of salvation only being offered through music; The Beatles, Woodstock,Charlie Parker, the Eagles, and Stevie Nicks all referenced throughout the lyrics.

Released during the ever-unfolding Coronavirus pandemic, Dylan reminded fans to “Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.” Murder Most Foul is the first song to be released by the songwriter since he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature back in 2016.

The singer’s choice to celebrate this historic tragedy now does suggest that perhaps during times when the future seems so unclear, we tend to re-connect with tragic stories from the past to give a sense of stability throughout chaos.

Listen to Murder Most Foul Below: 


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