The Great Poet Emily DickinsonThe Great Poet Emily Dickinson    

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“In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded. . . ”

(Bob Dylan)


Bob Dylan is probably best-remembered for his outstanding early contributions to the genre of the social protest song, which he helped to create and define, like no one else before or since, in a very small number of masterpieces such as this one about racial prejudice, social inequality and hypocrisy. Simon Rees, March 2007


The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

Bob Dylan, 1964

William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled round his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath'rin'.
And the cops was called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face -
Now ain't the time for your tears.

William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres,
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him,
And high office relations in the politics of Marilyn,
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was a-snarling,
And in a matter of minutes on bail was out walking.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face -
Now ain't the time for your tears.

Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen.
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children,
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn't even talk to the people at the table,
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level,
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room,
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle -
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face -
Now ain't the time for your tears.

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom,
Stared at the person who killed for no reason,
Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin',
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished,
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance,
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence.
Ah, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Bury the rag deep in your face -
For now's the time for your tears.

 

Copyright © 1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music

 

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Index of Bob Dylan Songs by Title 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Index of Bob Dylan Lyrics by Extract

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© Copyright 2007 Simon Rees, Kevin Eakins and SYY Integrated Health Systems, Ltd.  

Disclaimer: The information at this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The content of this website comprises only the observations and opinions of the authors and contributors: it does not constitute medical advice to readers.

 

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