Bob Dylan shocked the world on Friday by releasing a new song that officially stands as his longest to date, clocking in at 16 minutes and 57 seconds.
The acclaimed singer released “Murder Most Foul” at midnight on March 27. The lengthy track’s runtime is several seconds longer than his previously fan-dissected track “Highlands,” which clocks in at 16 minutes and 31 seconds. The new song is a slow and soulful free-association dedicated to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
“Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years,” Dylan wrote in a statement announcing the track. “This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you. Bob Dylan.”
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The singer didn’t present any further discussion or comment on the decision to release the track now or exactly how old it is. However, Variety notes that fans have pointed out that Dylan’s vocal tone and use of violin, piano and light percussion in the song is more reminiscent of his more recent work.
Bob Dylan released his longest track to date, “Murder Most Foul” about the assassination of JFK.
The lyrics also include a lot of pop-culture references from the 1960s but ventures outward into the 1970s and even early 1980s. He also clearly subscribes to the notion that the government’s assertion that the president’s assassin acted alone may not be all there is to the story.
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Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963 after being hit with two gunshots, one to the neck and a fatal hit to his skull. The accepted story is that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots from the nearby book depository, with his first shot hitting a nearby tree branch. However, theories have run rampant in the decades since Kennedy’s assassination that there were multiple people involved with killing the president.
In his song, Dylan makes reference to multiple assassins with lyrics such as: “They blew off his head while he was still in the car.”
At one point, the song even switches to the point of view of JFK, with Dylan singing: “Riding in the backseat next to my wife / And it’s straight on into the afterlife / I’m leaning to the left I got my head in her lap…”
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While Dylan notes that the newly released track was recorded some time ago, it has still fueled rumors that the acclaimed singer plans to release a new original album later this year. His last fully original album, “Tempest,” came out in 2012.