Last Tuesday night, the times were a changin’.
Still, it felt perverse, even a little cruel, for my iPod to shuffle to Bob Dylan as the election results came in.
There is a battle outside.
And it is ragin’.
What does it matter that I don’t like what’s shaking my windows
and rattling my walls?
I have to admit that if the Tea Party had a mind to break into Bob Dylan, it might have found a legitimate anthem (and, in the same breath, seriously tweaked liberal sensibilities) by joining hands around the campfire, kicking off Birkenstocks, and calling to its supporters to
come gather round people, wherever you roam.
I don’t think that happened. But, thematically, it fit.
Actually, I wish the Tea Party would co-opt Bob Dylan to commemorate their success in the mid-term elections.
There’s more to Dylan’s song than a message of social and political inevitability:
Bob Dylan found inspiration for his music in the collaborative work of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, especially The Threepenny Opera, or the Beggar’s Opera.
That’s the musical about what to expect from the abandoned, the destitute.
When I think about cuts to unemployment benefits, food stamps or medical care, I always remember the second act finale of Threepenny:
You gentlemen who think you have a mission
To purge us of the seven deadly sins
Should first sort out the basic food position,
Then start your preaching: That’s where it begins.
So first make sure that those who now are starving
Get proper helpings when we all start carving.
I hope that our newly-elected politicians will keep that in mind for the next two years.
After that, who knows?
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.