Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

"You Don't Need To Be a Weatherman..." (Lyrics to Bob Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues')
several sources | several authors

Posted on 07/01/2008 9:26:41 AM PDT by ETL

"Those who later formed the Weatherman organization produced a paper at the Students for a Democratic Society Convention in Chicago in June of 1969. With a nod to Bob Dylan, the sponsors titled their epistle: 'You Don’t Need A Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Is Blowing.'"
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=26243

"Dubbing itself the Weathermen, this new organization took its name from a line in Bob Dylan’s 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'—'you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows'—and within months had set off bombs at the National Guard headquarters and set in motion plans to bomb targets across the country"
http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/weatherunderground/film.html

Unless I (and HumanEvents) got the time line wrong, and he wrote the song AFTER the bombings began, this is really weird. Check out the following lyrics from the Dylan tune. It almost seems like he knew in advance what Ayers and company were planning. Yet Dylan claims today he wasn't even in to the radical politics of the sixties and seventies.

Here, from BobDylan.com, are the first four lines from his 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'...

"Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government"

Here's some other interesting lines...

"Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D. A.
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't try 'No Doz'
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows"
http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/subterranean.html

I report, you decide.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1969; ayers; bobdylan; dylan; obama; radicalleft; weathermen; weatherunderground
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-64 next last

1 posted on 07/01/2008 9:26:41 AM PDT by ETL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ETL

Nostradamus!! Dylan was a prophet! Or...everybody who was around at the time knows this was about dope.


2 posted on 07/01/2008 9:34:00 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 3AngelaD

“”Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot”?


3 posted on 07/01/2008 9:36:14 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ETL

I was in college 1969-1973 and my cousin who is just a bit older than me told me all about the SDS. Now my mother, an Oklahoma Democrat, thinks that cousin is a wierdo. Even my mother has been fooled by the liberal democrat party. When you try to tell her about the Weathermen and SDS and liberals taking over her party she thinks the messenger is nuts. She won’t believe it. Well, I lived it, and it is true, they took over the Democrat party. It is sick and sad.


4 posted on 07/01/2008 9:36:22 AM PDT by buffyt (Glowbull Warming: The Greatest Hoax Since Y 2 K !!!!!!!!!!! FOLLOW THE $$MONEY$$)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ETL

He disliked women wearing eyeliner.


5 posted on 07/01/2008 9:39:05 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ETL
I report, you decide.

I have decided that this is my nominee for "Lamest Post of the Year"

6 posted on 07/01/2008 9:39:23 AM PDT by don-o (My son, Ben, reports to Parris Island on (to be determined))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: buffyt
"liberals"?

Please refer her to my home page:
http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/

7 posted on 07/01/2008 9:40:15 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ETL

What about the line,”The pump don’t work cause the vandals took the handle”?


8 posted on 07/01/2008 9:40:47 AM PDT by Riverman94610
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ETL

My guess is that he was referring to white women putting on a “black pose”to be more authentic.
Kind of similiar to the line in Like a Rolling Stone that goes,”You used to be so amused,by Napoleon in rags and the language that he used,go to him now,you can’t refuse,when you ain’t got nothing,you got nothing to lose”
To me,an obvious reference to the white liberal guilt tendencies of the time.


9 posted on 07/01/2008 9:44:21 AM PDT by Riverman94610
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ETL

I thought Maggie owned a farm...


10 posted on 07/01/2008 9:45:37 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: 3AngelaD

You’re probably right. But with the situation at the time and many other artists writing alarmingly anti-American lyrics, it certainly wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. Never mind.


11 posted on 07/01/2008 9:45:37 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ETL
Sometimes these work and sometimes they don't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-xIulyVsG8

Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues

12 posted on 07/01/2008 9:49:16 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Riverman94610
What about the line, "The pump don’t work cause the vandals took the handle"?

Have no idea. Does it have something to do with today's high gas prices? You mean he knew that ahead of time too! :)

13 posted on 07/01/2008 9:49:49 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: 3AngelaD
Nostradamus!! Dylan was a prophet!

I wasn't claiming he was a fortune teller predicting the future, but rather that he might have been in with the young revolutionaries. There are lots of artists and entertainers today who are still calling for revolution. Maybe he thought he cleverly coded the message and that law enforcement would be too dumb to figure it out.

14 posted on 07/01/2008 10:02:01 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ETL

I think Dylan was thinking more in terms of”monkey wrenching”along the lines of the Earth First clique.


15 posted on 07/01/2008 10:05:47 AM PDT by Riverman94610
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ETL

There is a major difference between now and then. Now, the American people will fight back. These revolutionaries had a pass during the 70’s. They’ll try, especially if Obama loses.


16 posted on 07/01/2008 10:09:56 AM PDT by Betty Jane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ETL
I wouldn't put too much credit to it. The Left celebrated Dylan but found he couldn't be used.

But that isn't the first time he's been accused of clairvoyance. He did actually begin performing A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall some time before the Cuban Missile Crisis. Creeped a lot of people out.

There are some people who don't like his voice - the Guardian once called it a "catarrhal death rattle." I sense a certain negativity there...

17 posted on 07/01/2008 10:16:03 AM PDT by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Betty Jane
There is a major difference between now and then. Now, the American people will fight back.

Are you kidding? The state of the country is much worse today. There are more wussies around than ever before -a direct result of "liberal incrementalism".

18 posted on 07/01/2008 10:16:52 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: ETL

Maybe some are wimpier, but not everybody. And those are the ones who will not back down to these cretins.


19 posted on 07/01/2008 10:24:16 AM PDT by Betty Jane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Billthedrill
I actually have one of his CDs, but only care for a handful of songs. Yes, his voice on some tunes can curl the varnish off a coffee table.

In his song about boxer 'Hurricane Carter', he has a line: "and to the white folks, he was just a revolutionary bum". I suspect Carter, like many black (and white) celebs today, had ties to some revolutionary orgs.

20 posted on 07/01/2008 10:25:08 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Riverman94610
I think Dylan was thinking more in terms of ”monkey wrenching” along the lines of the Earth First clique.

huh?

21 posted on 07/01/2008 10:27:14 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: ETL

What do you mean,”huh’?
Earth First loved to sabotage construction equipment by tampering with the machinery.The called it monkey wrenching.Dylan’s vandals did the same thing in so many words.


22 posted on 07/01/2008 10:32:00 AM PDT by Riverman94610
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Betty Jane

I pray you are correct. But it wouldn’t be just scrawny college kids that would take part in their ‘revolution’. It would include street gangs and other vicious thugs, freed inmates, the illegal immigrant community, etc, etc.


23 posted on 07/01/2008 10:34:53 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Riverman94610

I know about ELF and other such orgs. I just didn’t make the connection to Dylan.


24 posted on 07/01/2008 10:37:08 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: ETL

I may be full of hot air but I have a long history of interpreting lyrics in weird ways.


25 posted on 07/01/2008 10:39:46 AM PDT by Riverman94610
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Riverman94610

Well, a whole lot of lyrics ARE very weird. I’ll bet your interpretations are no more weird than the actual meanings.


26 posted on 07/01/2008 10:51:59 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: ETL

I STILL have figured out Hypmotized by Fleetwood Mac and I’m not sure I even want to try!


27 posted on 07/01/2008 10:56:02 AM PDT by Riverman94610
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Riverman94610
I STILL haven't figured out Hypmotized by Fleetwood Mac and I’m not sure I even want to try!

Don't bother. You'll only go nuts trying to understand these people.

28 posted on 07/01/2008 11:01:46 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: ETL

Unless I (and HumanEvents) got the time line wrong, and he wrote the song AFTER the bombings began, this is really weird. Check out the following lyrics from the Dylan tune. It almost seems like he knew in advance what Ayers and company were planning. Yet Dylan claims today he wasn’t even in to the radical politics of the sixties and seventies.
[snip]
I report, you decide.
________

The song in question was released in april of 1965. You can look it up.

Ayers and company did not use bombs until, what, 1969?

You got the timeline wrong, all right.


29 posted on 07/01/2008 11:05:50 AM PDT by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: scott says

*Subterranean ping*


30 posted on 07/01/2008 11:06:03 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Riverman94610

Earth First loved to sabotage construction equipment by tampering with the machinery.The called it monkey wrenching.Dylan’s vandals did the same thing in so many words.
_____

Who were Dylan’s vandals? Was Robbie Robertson one of them? Levon Helm? Rick Danko?


31 posted on 07/01/2008 11:14:37 AM PDT by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: dmz

He was speaking metaphorically,not literally.
Hey,I remember thinking I was one of those much heralded vandals when I would tear off messages from the college bulletin board in 1966 just for the sheer hell of it!
18 year olds do a LOT of stupid things.


32 posted on 07/01/2008 11:19:22 AM PDT by Riverman94610
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Liberty Valance; nuconvert; 185JHP; Dr. Eckleburg; TruthRespecter; fnord; Michael.SF.; pissant; ...


Dylan Ping

33 posted on 07/01/2008 11:20:13 AM PDT by scott says
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Riverman94610
I may be full of hot air but I have a long history of interpreting lyrics in weird ways.

So, what is "Louie, Louie" really about?

And what are the lyrics?

;-)

34 posted on 07/01/2008 11:23:21 AM PDT by Allegra (If you lived here, you'd be home by now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: ETL

The pump don’t work cause the vandals broke the handle...I HATE when that happens, although I live in a state where I don’t have to pump my own gas.


35 posted on 07/01/2008 11:23:24 AM PDT by Clemenza (Friggin in the Riggin...Friggin in the Riggin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Allegra

Not sure about Louie,Louie.
Just know that “I felt that bone in her hair”made a lot more sense to me at 17 than”I smelled that rose in her hair”


36 posted on 07/01/2008 11:27:58 AM PDT by Riverman94610
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: scott says
Ahhh, proof positive that Dylan really is a flaming liberal and leader of the revolution that almost never was!!

/sarcasm

37 posted on 07/01/2008 11:29:15 AM PDT by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: dmz
The song in question was released in april of 1965. Ayers and company did not use bombs until, what, 1969? You got the timeline wrong, all right.

I was saying that my timeline would have been wrong if he wrote the song AFTER the bombings. He did not. ie, "wrong" = "he wrote the song AFTER the bombings began".

As it turned out there probably isn't anything weird about it at all, since the song was *probably* about drugs or something else altogether. Plus, as you point out, it was apparently written several years before the bombings began, although that doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't sympathetic towards the revolutionary movement.

"Unless I (and HumanEvents) got the timeline wrong, and he wrote the song AFTER the bombings began, this is really weird."

38 posted on 07/01/2008 11:59:23 AM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
Ahhh, proof positive that Dylan really is a flaming liberal and leader of the revolution that almost never was!! /sarcasm

Who ever said it was "proof positive"? I just thought, considering the nature of the Weather Underground group, that the lyrics seemed 'interesting'. If you don't think there's a whole bunch of folks in the music and entertainment industry, still to this day, that aren't sympathetic to the cause of revolutionary communism, then you don't know squat about what's going on. There are democrat leaders that are hooked up with these bums. In fact, one of them is running for president. Others are chairing powerful House committees, such as Ways and Means and the Judiciary.

39 posted on 07/01/2008 12:12:08 PM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: ETL

Dylan wrote basically one album worth of explicit “finger pointin’ songs”. After that he branched out into other things and being far more of a rock singer/songwriter rather than a folk singer.

His protest songs came very early in his career which is as much a product of his idolization of Woody Guthrie as any deeply held beliefs.

He has never gone to protests and joined in all the liberal causes. He was always more into music than political beliefs. His contemporaries from the time, who were into the protests and movements, said Dylan was (and presumably is) apolitical.

Is the song most likely about disaffected youth? Yes. Is it hiding some revolutionary call in its lyrics? Highly doubtful.


40 posted on 07/01/2008 12:25:24 PM PDT by Mr. Blonde (You ever thought about being weird for a living?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ETL
Easy, easy there bud.

First, I directed the post to Scott, not to you, but of course you are free to chime in. However, in directing it to Scott, who knows me fairly well, he will recognize my sarcasm as being directed towards earlier threads here, ones where we have discussed Dylan, his lyrics and his politics (or lack there of).

I also saw the article the other day with the same reference to the weather underground and Bob Dylan so I expected someone would post on this subject.

There are many interpretations to Dylan's lyrics, but one thing that is certain is that they will invariably be wrong, unless they are made by Dylan himself.

I also was not diminishing the threat of the leftist agenda, merely commenting on Dylan's potential association with it, which I believe there is none.

41 posted on 07/01/2008 12:35:36 PM PDT by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: ETL

my point about your timeline being wrong was, as you suggest, based on the fact that too much time elapsed between the events for there to be a credible connection.

Dylan was, and still is, a guy who will reinvent himself on a regular basis and completely reject those who would define him (Dylan) for themselves.


42 posted on 07/01/2008 12:38:47 PM PDT by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Blonde
The lines highlighted in bold were the ones I was wondering about. But it didn't have to necessarily be that he (Dylan) was the "I'm" in the song. I thought it might be that he wrote the lyrics as if speaking for someone else, which of course would still be troublesome *IF* in fact he had intended the song to be about revolutionary terrorist attacks on America, which he almost certainly did not (apparently).

"Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
"

"Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot

Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway

Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D. A.
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't try 'No Doz'
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows"
http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/subterranean.html

43 posted on 07/01/2008 12:44:17 PM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Allegra

Are you heading back to the sandbox soon?

Hope you had a Good R&R, and God Bless!

JD


44 posted on 07/01/2008 12:59:14 PM PDT by JDoutrider (Obama= Not Hope & Change! He brings Hype & Chains!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
My bad. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

There are many interpretations to Dylan's lyrics, but one thing that is certain is that they will invariably be wrong, unless they are made by Dylan himself.

And he, himself, probably changes the 'interpretations' on a continuing basis. :)

45 posted on 07/01/2008 1:14:16 PM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: ETL
No worries!

Thanks for the response and enjoy the Fourth!

46 posted on 07/01/2008 1:35:00 PM PDT by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

Thanks! You too.


47 posted on 07/01/2008 1:49:55 PM PDT by ETL (Plenty of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my FR home page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: JDoutrider
Are you heading back to the sandbox soon?

Very, very, very soon. (Sigh...) But hey, at least I get to spend the Fourth of July stateside. First time I've gotten to do that since '03.

Hope you had a Good R&R, and God Bless!

Thank you. It's been wonderful and it went by so fast! ;-)

48 posted on 07/01/2008 3:41:40 PM PDT by Allegra (If you lived here, you'd be home by now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: scott says

strange thread


49 posted on 07/01/2008 5:17:30 PM PDT by nuconvert (Obama - Preferred by 4 out of 5 Dictators & Terrorists)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: ETL

I’ll take a stab....think pot and assorted drugs


50 posted on 07/01/2008 5:19:38 PM PDT by nuconvert (Obama - Preferred by 4 out of 5 Dictators & Terrorists)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-64 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson