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Open Poem to Bob Dylan: where have all the protest songs gone?

Every minute of every day of every week of every year since Trump has been elected has been a tragedy for our nation and our world. Some embarrassing statement. Some racist tweet. Some abominable policy. Constant lies. Complete ignorance. Ignorance and hate (you can't have one without the other, it seems).


Many people compare Trump to Nixon, the many instances of Trump obstructing justice to the Watergate cover-up. The calls for impeachment bring memories of the entire Nixon era alive. Which gets me to wonder: Where have all the protest songs gone?


After all, protest songs were a staple of the Vietnam-stained LBJ and Nixon years. Why have our poets and minstrels been so quiet in the face of Trump's atrocities? Now I know that Bob Dylan's music goes well beyond the protest genre and era, but whether he asked for it or not, he was the moral political voice of the civil rights/Vietnam era. We need someone to speak out. Why not him? So here's my open poem to Bob Dylan, asking him to get off the sidelines and get back in the game.


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An Open Poem to Bob Dylan

By Jason M. Rubin


Hey Bob Dylan, look around

See all this crap that’s going down?

In the White House is an orange clown

And yet your voice cannot be found


Hey Bob Dylan, your last album was pop

But there’s a madman we need to stop

There’s no salvation in the record shop

A new revolution has got to drop


Hey Bob Dylan, you gotta lotta nerve

You think this is the leader that we deserve?

We’re speeding down dead man’s curve

From your current path it’s time to swerve


Hey Bob Dylan, here’s a surprise

Put away your Nobel Prize

Rip off your detached disguise

Give us some words we can memorize


Hey Bob Dylan, we need you agin

What’s that blowing in the wind?

Those in charge are those who have sinned

The rest are taking it on the chin


Hey Bob Dylan, so long you have traveled

But now your path is starting to unravel

Time to raise again your voice of gravel

And hammer down your inciteful gavel


Hey Bob Dylan, the hard rain is falling

Can’t you hear your old fans calling?

Can’t you see this is all so appalling?

All of our problems are quickly snowballing


Hey Bob Dylan, we’re feeling alone

In public discourse there’s an ominous tone

Pick up your mouth harp, like a rolling stone

We need you to bring it all back home


Hey Bob Dylan, how does it feel

I ask you again, how does it feel

It’s time to take charge, it’s time to get real

It’s time to shuffle your cards and deal


Hey Bob Dylan, you reap what you sow

And now we’re all on Desolation Row

You can no longer just go with the flow

Those who are high must be brought low


Hey Bob Dylan, all I really want to do

Is to get you tangled up in blue

I don’t care whether you’re a Christian or a Jew

Just sing me some words that are true


Hey Bob Dylan, play a song for me

I’m not sleepy and there are people who aren’t free

Please won’t you heed my urgent plea

Seize my mind, touch my heart, take a knee


Hey Bob Dylan, you gotta serve somebody, that’s true

Can’t you see that what’s old is new?

You have to lead us, we’re depending on you

Or it’ll be all over now, baby blue

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