Right Wing Bob

Ron Radosh examines another side of Bob Dylan:

…it was decades ago, in fact rather early in his long career, that Dylan abandoned the Old Left milieu that others were trying to force him into. His college friends in Minnesota have written about how all their attempts to indoctrinate him came to naught, as did Dave Van Ronk in his own memoir.

Dylan absorbed what was best in the political culture that existed in New York City when he first arrived there, and soon transcended their world. He decided first to stop sending songs to Broadside, the political song magazine published in mimeographed form by the late Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen, and broke with Sing Out! when its then Stalinist editor, Irwin Silber, wrote an open letter condemning him for turning inwards and deserting the left-wing path they wanted him to inherit. He made this clear when he wrote “Maggie’s Farm.”

Well, I try my best To be just like I am,

But everybody wants you

To be just like them.

They sing while you slave and I just get bored.

I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.

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