The Cinch Review

“down with you sam” by Bob Dylan

Just for the record, and because I’ve been asked about it, here is the full twenty-odd lines of the particular poem from Bob Dylan’s book “Tarantula”(copyrighted by Bob Dylan in 1966) that features a statement regarding Hitler which Ron Rosenbaum commented upon in a lecture called “Bob Dylan’s God Problem—and Ours,” and which he then wrote about in an article called “The Naked Truth” and which led yours truly to write “God’s problem with Bob Dylan (and with us).”

In the book the poem is untitled, although it appears in a chapter titled “Prelude to the Flatpick” (which ought to clarify things considerably).

down with you sam. down with your
answers too. hitler did not change
history. hitler WAS history/sure
you can teach people to be beautiful,
but dont you know that there’s a
greater force than you that teaches
them to be gullible—yeah it’s called
the problem force/ they assign every-
body problems/ your problem is that you
wanna better word for world …
you cannot kill what lives an expct no-
body to take notice. history is alive/
it breathes/ now cut out that jive/
go count your fish. gotta go. someone’s
coming to tame my shrew. hope they re-
moved your lung successfully. say hi
to your sister

love,
Wimp, Your
Friendly Pirate


For an even more expanded context, you can buy the book, although I have to say that I think Blonde on Blondeis really his better work from that period. (I suspect he might agree, since he sang “Rainy Day Women” just last night in Brazil, but when was the last time he did a reading from “Tarantula?” It’s been ages.)