Visions of Obama

VFR reader Richard B. sent me a takeoff he had written of Bob Dylan’s “Visions of Johanna,” called “Visions of Obama,” and asked if I could work on it further. It looked like fun, and I played with it a bit, and it’s posted below. If anyone has further ideas to make it better, please send them along.

For those who don’t know the song, here are the lyrics. Here, at YouTube, is the original recording from the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. The instrumental sound on this YouTube version is not perfectly balanced, some of the instrumental sounds are missing, but Dylan’s voice is very clear, and the mysterious beauty of music and words is there. And here is Dylan in a 1966 concert performing the first two verses of the song (with a bit of some other footage between the two verses), unaccompanied except for his own accoustic guitar, showing how his Blonde on Blonde sound wasn’t dependent on having a backup band, it could be achieved by Dylan alone. Listen to the total purity and clarity with which he says every syllable. In his 1966 period, Dylan invented a new way of singing, a new way of pronouncing words. And it’s as valid and original now as when he first did it.

by Richard B. and LA (with apologies to Bob Dylan)

Ain’t it just like the press to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet?
We’re sitting here stranded, though we’re all doing our best to deny it
And Dick Morris holds a handful of polls, tempting you to defy it.
The pundits say we’re playing too rough
In this room my advisors just cough
The CNN News station plays soft
But there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off.
Just the black vote and the women’s vote so entwined
And these visions of Obama that conquer my mind.

In Pennsylvania the consultants play blind man’s bluff with the campaign
And the “3 AM” ads they whisper of experience Barack hasn’t gained
We can hear Howard Dean shuffle papers, ask himself if it’s him or us that’s really insane.
And Maggie Williams, she’s all right, she’s just near
She’s loyal, and she seems like a mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Carville’s not here.
The ghost of Ted Kennedy howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Obama have now taken my place.

Now, little boy Bill, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his past campaigns, he lives for his own vanity
And when bringing my name up he always says things that undermine me.
He’s sure got a lotta gall
To be so useless and all
Making small talk with some girl
While I’m in free fall.
Oh how can I explain, it’s so hard to keep going on
And these visions of Obama, they’ve kept me up past the dawn.

Inside the tv studios, my life it goes up on trial
Voices whisper this is what life as a failed candidate must be like after a while
But Client 9 must have had the highway blues, you can tell by the way he smiles.
See the professional liberals freeze
When the Emperor’s Club women all sneeze
Hear the one from New York City say, “Jeeze,
I can’t close my knees.”
The lights fade to black, my sound bites are running out of fuel.
And these visions of Obama, they make it all seem so cruel.

The voter now speaks to the candidate who’s pretending to care for him
Saying, “Name me a pol that’s not a parasite, and I’ll go out and cast my vote for him”
But like Barack always says, “You can’t do much, can ya Hil?” as the Super Delegates prepare for him.
And Florida, it has no real vote
We see this empty campaign now corrode
Where the money and support once had flowed
The Straight Talk Express hits the road
It says donations must be returned which were owed
To the crooks and the Chinese that showed
While my campaign explodes.
The YouTubes play, the New York Times and the rain
And these visions of Obama are now all that remain.

Based on “VISIONS OF JOHANNA,” by Bob Dylan
Copyright 1966; renewed 1994 Dwarf Music

* * *

Here is another Dylan take-off on the electoral downfall of Hillary Clinton, written by Richard B., which he sent me in June 2008:

Don’t Vote Twice, It’s All Right

It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, Hill
If you don’t know by now
And it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, Hill
It don’t matter, anyhow
When your delegates vote for a female choice
They’ll only be just another voice
The Democrat party has thrown you under the bus
Don’t vote twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in callin in your chits Hill,
Those favors were never owed
An’ it ain’t no use in hopin for a miracle, Hill
Barack is takin’ on your load
Still I wish there was somethin’ you could do or say
To try and make ‘em change their minds today
That old convention is so far away
So don’t vote twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in callin’ out to Bill, gal
Like you never did before
It ain’t no use in callin’ out to Bill, gal
They can’t hear him any more
You’re a-thinkin’ and a-wond’rin’ how to keep up the fight
You can just sit back till convention night
Maybe they’ll realize Obama just ain’t right
But don’t vote twice, it’s all right

You’re walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, Hill
Where you’re bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, Hill
So we’ll just say fare thee well
We all know they treated you unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
The new Messiah has stolen all your time
But don’t vote twice, it’s all right

Based on Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” 1962.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 16, 2008 02:25 PM | Send

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