Murder Most Foul

Bob Dylan
Language: English

Murder Most Foul (1)

Twas a dark day in Dallas, November '63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin' and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, "Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?"
"Of course we do. We know who you are."
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts; we've come to collect
We're gonna kill you with hatred; without any respect
We'll mock you and shock you and we'll put it in your face
We've already got someone here to take your place

The day they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching; no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly, so quick, by surprise
Right there in front of everyone's eyes
Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman howl
Rub-a-dub-dub, it's a murder most foul

Hush, little children. You'll understand
The Beatles are comin'; they're gonna hold your hand
Slide down the banister, go get your coat
Ferry 'cross the Mersey and go for the throat
There's three bums comin' all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I'm going to Woodstock; it's the Aquarian Age
Then I'll go to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window; let the good times roll
There's a party going on behind the Grassy Knoll

Stack up the bricks, pour the cement
Don't say Dallas don't love you, Mr. President
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Blackface singer, whiteface clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red light district, they've got cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street

When you're down in Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe
Don't ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the ballot, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make left-hand turn
I'm going down to the crossroads; gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope, and charity died
Shoot him while he runs, boy. Shoot him while you can
See if you can shoot the invisible man
Goodbye, Charlie. Goodbye, Uncle Sam
Frankly, my Scarlet, I don't give a damn

What is the truth, and where did it go?
Ask Oswald and Ruby; they oughta know
"Shut your mouth," said the wise old owl
Business is business, and it's a murder most foul

Tommy, can you hear me? I'm the Acid Queen
I'm riding in a long, black limousine
Riding in the backseat next to my wife
Heading straight on in to the afterlife
I'm leaning to the left; got my head in her lap
Hold on, I've been led into some kind of a trap
Where we ask no quarter, and no quarter do we give
We're right down the street from the street where you live
They mutilated his body, and they took out his brain
What more could they do? They piled on the pain
But his soul's not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they've been searchin' for that

Freedom, oh freedom. Freedom over me
I hate to tell you, mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin'; tell me no lies
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake up, little Suzie (2); let's go for a drive
Cross the Trinity River; let's keep hope alive
Turn the radio on; don't touch the dials
Parkland hospital, only six more miles

You got me dizzy, Miss Lizzy (3). You filled me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I'm just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind
I've blood in my eye, got blood in my ear
I'm never gonna make it to the new frontier
Zapruder's film I seen night before
Seen it 33 times, maybe more
It's vile and deceitful. It's cruel and it's mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once and they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice

The day that they killed him, someone said to me, "Son
The age of the Antichrist has only begun."
Air Force One coming in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at 2:38
Let me know when you decide to throw in the towel
It is what it is, and it's murder most foul

What's new, pussycat? What'd I say?
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it's beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it's 36 hours past Judgment Day

Wolfman Jack, speaking in tongues
He's going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr. Wolfman Jack (4)
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play me that "Only the Good Die Young"(5)
Take me to the place Tom Dooley (6) was hung
St. James Infirmary and the Port of King James
If you want to remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James, too. Play "I'd Rather Go Blind"(7)
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker(8). Play "Scratch My Back."(9)
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim(10) going down slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe(11)

Play "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (12)
Play it for the First Lady, she ain't feeling any good
Play Don Henley(13), play Glenn Frey (14)
Take it to the limit and let it go by
Play it for Karl Wirsum (15), too
Looking far, far away at Down Gallow Avenue
Play tragedy, play "Twilight Time"(16)
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and "Another One Bites the Dust"(17)
Play "The Old Rugged Cross" (18) and "In God We Trust"(19)
Ride the pink horse down the long, lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play "Mystery Train" (20) for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend; play it for the Pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson (21). Play Stan Getz (22)
Play "Blue Sky" (23); play Dickey Betts (24)
Play Hot Pepper (25), Thelonious Monk (26)
Charlie Parker(27) and all that junk
All that junk and "All That Jazz" (28)
Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz (29)
Play Buster Keaton(30), play Harold Lloyd (31)
Play Bugsy Siegel(32), play Pretty Boy Floyd (33)
Play the numbers, play the odds
Play "Cry Me A River"(34) for the Lord of the gods
Play Number 9, play Number 6
Play it for Lindsey(35) and Stevie Nicks(36)
Play Nat King Cole(37), play "Nature Boy"(38)
Play "Down In The Boondocks"(39) for Terry Malloy(40)
Play "It Happened One Night" (41) and "One Night of Sin" (42)
There's 12 Million souls that are listening in
Play "Merchant of Venice", play "Merchants of Death"
Play "Stella by Starlight" (43) for Lady Macbeth (44)

Don't worry, Mr. President. Help's on the way
Your brothers are coming; there'll be hell to pay
Brothers? What brothers? What's this about hell?
Tell them, "We're waiting. Keep coming." We'll get them as well

The field is where his plane touched down
But it never did get back up off the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the rising sun
Play "Misty" (45) for me and "That Old Devil Moon" (46)
Play "Anything Goes" (47) and "Memphis in June" (48)
Play "Lonely At the Top" (49) and "Lonely Are the Brave" (50)
Play it for Houdini spinning around his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton (51), play "Lucille" (52)
Play "Deep In a Dream" (53), and play "Driving Wheel" (54)
Play "Moonlight Sonata" in F-sharp (55)
And "A Key to the Highway" (56) for the king on the harp
Play "Marching Through Georgia" (57) and "Dumbarton's Drums" (58)
Play darkness and death will come when it comes
Play "Love Me Or Leave Me" (59) by the great Bud Powell
Play "The Blood-stained Banner" (60), play "Murder Most Foul".
Note / Notes
by Dq82

(1) Assassinio sul palcoscenico (Murder Most Foul) è un film del 1964 diretto da George Pollock, terzo capitolo di una serie inglese di quattro film su Miss Marple interpretati da Margaret Rutherford. Il film è tratto dal romanzo di Agatha Christie Fermate il boia; nel romanzo il protagonista è Hercule Poirot e non Miss Marple, cosa già avvenuta nel secondo film, Assassinio al galoppatoio. Nel film cambiano molti personaggi e le loro azioni.

(2) Wake Up Little Susie. is a popular song written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and published in 1957.

The song is best known in a recording by the Everly Brothers. Simon and Garfunkel have cited the Everly Brothers as strong influences on their own music. Their live version of "Wake Up Little Susie," recorded in the duo's concert in New York's Central Park on September 19, 1981, reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982,

(3) "Dizzy, Miss Lizzy" is a rock and roll song written and recorded by Larry Williams in 1958. Although identified as a "genuine rock & roll classic",[1] it had limited success on the record charts. Seven years later, the Beatles recorded the song, and John Lennon performed it with the Plastic Ono Band in 1969.

(4) Robert Weston Smith, known as Wolfman Jack (January 21, 1938 – July 1, 1995), was an American disc jockey. Famous for his gravelly voice, he credited it for his success, saying, "It's kept meat and potatoes on the table for years for Wolfman and Wolfwoman. A couple of shots of whiskey helps it. I've got that nice raspy sound.

(5) Only the Good Die Young, Billy Joel, The Stranger (1977)

(6) Tom Dooley

(7) I'd Rather Go Blind, Etta James, Tell Mama/I'd Rather Go Blind (1967)

(8) John Lee Hooker

(9) Baby Scratch My Back, Slim Harpo Baby, Baby Scratch My Back/I'm Gonna Miss You (Like The Devil) (1965)

(10) Eddie Jones (December 10, 1926 – February 7, 1959), better known as Guitar Slim, was a New Orleans blues guitarist in the 1940s and 1950s

(11) Marilyn Monroe

(12) Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Nina Simone, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood/A Monster (1964)

(13) Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and founding member of the Eagles. He was the drummer and co-lead vocalist for the Eagles from 1971 until the band broke up in 1980, and has reprised those duties for the group's reunions since 1994.

(14) Glenn Lewis Frey (/fraɪ/; November 6, 1948 – January 18, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, actor and founding member of the rock band the Eagles. Frey was the co-lead singer and frontman for the Eagles, roles he came to share with fellow member Don Henley, with whom he wrote most of the Eagles' material.

(15) Karl Wirsum (born 1939 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American artist. A member of the notorious Chicago artistic group The Hairy Who, he helped set the foundation for Chicago's art scene in the 1970s. Wirsum is primarily a painter, though he has worked with prints, sculpture and even digital art.

(16) Twilight Time, The Platters, The Great pretender (1965)

(17) Another One Bites the Dust, Queen, The Game (1980)

(18) The Old Rugged Cross is a popular hymn written in 1912 by evangelist and song-leader George Bennard (1873–1958)


(20) Mystery Train, Junior Parker, Mystery Train/Love me Baby (1965)

(21) Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, but simply "O.P." by his friends.

(22) Stan Getz (born Stanley Gayetski; February 2, 1927 – June 6, 1991) was an American jazz saxophonist. Playing primarily the tenor saxophone, Getz was known as "The Sound" because of his warm, lyrical tone

(23) Blue Sky, The Allman Brothers Band, Eat a Peach (1972)

(24) Forrest Richard Betts (born December 12, 1943), known as Dickey Betts, is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and composer best known as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band.


(26) Thelonious Sphere Monk (/θəˈloʊniəs/, October 10, 1917[3] – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire

(27) Charles Parker Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), also known as Yardbird and Bird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

(28) All That Jazz, from Musical Chicago (1965)
Liza Minnelli, All that Jazz/My Own Best Friend (1975)

(29) Robert Franklin Stroud (January 28, 1890 – November 21, 1963), known as the "Birdman of Alcatraz", was a convicted murderer, American federal prisoner and author who has been cited as one of the most notorious criminals in the United States.

(30) Joseph Frank Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966), known professionally as Buster Keaton, was an American actor, comedian, film director, producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer.

(31) Harold Clayton Lloyd Sr. (April 20, 1893 – March 8, 1971) was an American actor, comedian, and stunt performer who appeared in many silent comedy films.

(32) Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (February 28, 1906 – June 20, 1947) was an American mobster. Siegel was known as one of the most

(33) Charles Arthur Floyd (February 3, 1904 – October 22, 1934), nicknamed Pretty Boy Floyd, was an American bank robber. "infamous and feared gangsters of his day".

(34) Cry Me a River, Ella Fitzgerald, Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! (1961)

(35) Lindsey Adams Buckingham (born October 3, 1949) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and producer, best known as lead guitarist and one of the vocalists of the music group Fleetwood Mac from 1975 to 1987 and 1997 to 2018.

(36) Stephanie Lynn Nicks (born May 26, 1948) is an American singer and songwriter. Nicks is best known for her work as a songwriter and vocalist with Fleetwood Mac, and her chart-topping solo career.

(37) Nat King Cole

(38) Nature Boy, Nat King Cole, Nature Boy/Lost April (1948)

(39) Down in the Boondocks, Billy Joe Royal, Down in the Boondocks/Oh, What a Night (1965)

(40) Terry Malloy is Marlon Brando in the movie "On the waterfront" (1954)

(41) It Happened One Night is a 1934 pre-Code American romantic comedy film with elements of screwball comedy directed and co-produced by Frank Capra

(42) One Night of Sin, Smiley Lewis (1956)

(43) Stella by Starlight is a standard jazz (1944)

(44) Lady Macbeth is a leading character in William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth (c.1603–1607). 

(45) Misty, Errol Garner, (1954)

(46) Old Devil Moon, Ella Logan (1947)

(47) Anything Goes, Cole Porter, Anything Goes (1934)

(48) Memphis in June, Nina Simone, Forbidden Fruit (1961)

(49) Lonely At the Top, Randy Newman, Sail Away (1972)

(50) Lonely are the Brave is a western movie directed by David Miller, with Kirk Douglas

(51) Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941), known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer who started his career in New Orleans, Louisiana.

(52) Lucille, Little Richard (1957)

(53) Deep in a Dream, Al Caiola, Deep in a Dream (1955)

(54) Driving wheel, David Wiffen, David Wiffen (1971)

(55) Piano sonata No. 14 in c-sharp minor popularly known as Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven, (1801)

(56) Key to the Highway is a blues standard 
Charlie Segar (1940)

(57) Marching Through Georgia, Henry Clay Work, (1865)

(58) Dumbarton's Drums  is a traditional Scottish song.

(59) Bud Powell covered the song “Love me or leave me” by Walter Donaldson (1928) in his song Get it (1957)

(60) The Blood-stained Banner is the Confederate banner

Main Page

Please report any error in lyrics or commentaries to

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.

hosted by