Friday, March 20, 2009

When the ship comes in

Every so often a Dylan song gets stuck in me and won't leave. A few weeks ago it was "Dear Landlord", today it's this:

Maybe it's that Pesach is coming up, or maybe it's the sense that the American public may be reaching a breaking point, or just residual anarchism from last weekend, or maybe even seeing the Watchmen movie (which made ample use of Dylan, but left out one of the key elements of the original graphic novel, an intercalated pirate comic called "Tales of the Black Freighter" in reference to the same Brecht/Weill song that inspired the above).
Then they'll raise their hands,
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands,
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered.
And like Pharaoh's tribe,
They'll be drownded in the tide,
And like Goliath, they'll be conquered.


exuberance said...

Amazing the contrast between the words and his sweet boyish appearance.

Mike O'Malley said...

Ahhh, Bertolt Brecht! A most sincere brave Marxist revolutionary advocate for the proletarian worker! Revolutionary scourge of Bourgeois privilege, Bertolt Brecht was enticed by the Soviet occupation forces to return to East Berlin by the offer of his own theater and theater company, the Berliner Ensemble... and of course, the opportunity for the most generous state subsidies ... He did however, retained his conveniently acquired Austrian nationality as he did overseas bank accounts from which he received valuable hard currency remittances. Brecht's copyrights on his revolutionary writings were held by a Swiss company, beyond the reach of the East German Communist Soviet puppet regime. And even after Brecht provided shameful public cover for East German Communist puppet regime and the Soviet Union for its brutal crushing of the East German Workers Uprising in June 1953, Brecht continued to drive around East Berlin in a pre-war DKW car—a rare luxury in the impoverished East Berlin!

Blog-readers would do well to read the entire chapter that Paul Johnson devotes to Brecht in his book: Intellectuals.