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RonPrice
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DYLAN AND ME IN ‘62
06/12/10 at 09:52:46
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DYLAN AND ME IN ‘62

As early as 1962, the year my pioneering and travelling for the Canadian Bahá’í community began, Bob Dylan was reflecting on the theme of the rejected prophet.  He wrote: “To preach of peace and brotherhood, / Oh, what might be the cost! / A man he did it long ago / And they hung him on a cross. / Long ago, far away; / These things don't happen / No more, nowadays.”(1)

This allusion to Jesus in this 1962 reflection, in one of the first years of Dylan’s public fame, is followed by a rehearsal of various social evils that make the call for peace and brotherhood necessary as far as Dylan was concerned back then in the roaring sixties. Dylan refers to slavery, war, poverty and few would challenge the need to rid the world of such things--then or now. But like many good stories, this song ends with an unexpected twist with the words: “And to talk of peace and brotherhood, / Oh, what might be the cost! / A man he did it long ago / And they hung him on a cross. / Long ago, far away; / Things like that don't happen / No more, nowadays, do they?”

This is, of course, a loaded rhetorical question.  One would not think that addressing such noble themes would be dangerous.  Dylan has already referred to the supreme example of a prophet/preacher who paid the ultimate price.  What would prevent a latter day prophet from experiencing a similar fate? –Ron Price with thanks to (1)Bob Dylan, "Long Ago, Far Away"; recorded in 1962 but never released. This information, these ideas  was/were found in Michael J. Gilmour, “They Refused Jesus Too: A Biblical Paradigm in the Writing of Bob Dylan,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Volume 1, Spring 2002.

Indeed, Michael, indeed!
And two latter-day man-
gods did experience very
similar fates not long ago
and not that far away and
in 1962 I began my life of
telling about their lives but
few took serious interest in
this story: for the Return of
Jesus is very very complex!

You asked, Bob, “Things like
that don't happen no more..
nowadays, do they?” But the
answer is a resounding “yes!”

Ron Price
19 March 2010

PS....this is the second and final edition of the above prose-poem
  
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