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Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize; Remember That Time He Wrote A Gay Liberation Song?

by matt baume October 13, 2016


Hey, congrats Bob Dylan for winning the Nobel Prize in literature! We may not always be able to understand your wobbly voice, but people seem to like what you do and the prize committee says you “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” so hip hip hooray.

Now’s probably a good time to mention how you played a role in the gay liberation movement, along with fellow fascinating weirdo Allen Ginsberg. It was called “Jimmy Berman (Gay Lib Rag),” and it’s about Ginsberg trying to date an 18-year-old. (He would have been in his mid-40s at the time.) So, that’s maybe not a fantastic premise for a gay liberation song, but we’re willing to hear it out.

If you listen to it (below) it sounds a bit like the childish Brian Wilson “Vegetables” song, only about drugs and sex. Here’s a sampling of the lyrics:

Eighteen-year-old Jimmy, the boy is my delight
Eighteen-year-old Jimmy, I love him day and night
Now I know I’m getting kinda old to chase poor Jimmy’s tail
But I won’t tell you other, love, it’d be too long a tale

Jimmy Berman, please love me, I throw myself at your feet
Jimmy Berman, I’ll give you money, oh, won’t that be neat?
Jimmy Berman, just give me your heart and yeah! your soul
Jimmy Berman, please come home with me, I would be whole

“We Shall Overcome” it isn’t, but hey not every liberation anthem can be a hit.

At any rate, now we have a Nobel Prize just one degree away from the timeless art of seducing teenagers.

matt baume
matt baume


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