DYLAN AND ME IN ‘62

As early as 1962, the year my pioneering and travelling for the Canadian Bahá’* community began, Bob Dylan was reflecting on the theme of the rejected prophet. He wrote: “To preach of peace and brotherhood, / Oh, what might be the cost! / A man he did it long ago / And they hung him on a cross. / Long ago, far away; / These things don't happen / No more, nowadays.”1

This allusion to Jesus is followed by a rehearsal of various social evils that make the call for peace and brotherhood necessary in the first place; for example, slavery, war, poverty, and few would challenge the need to rid the world of such things. But like many good stories, this song ends with an unexpected twist in the words: “And to talk of peace and brotherhood, / Oh, what might be the cost! / A man he did it long ago / And they hung him on a cross. / Long ago, far away; / Things like that don't happen / No more, nowadays, do they?”

This is a loaded rhetorical question. One would not think that addressing such noble themes would be dangerous but since the supreme example of a prophet/preacher paid the ultimate price, what would prevent a latter day prophet from experiencing a similar fate? –Ron Price with thanks to 1"Long Ago, Far Away"; recorded in 1962 but never released. This information was found in Michael J. Gilmour, “They Refused Jesus Too: A Biblical Paradigm in the Writing of Bob Dylan,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Volume 1, Spring 2002.

Indeed, Michael, indeed!
And two latter-day man-
gods did experience very
similar fates and in 1962
I began my life of telling
about it but few took any
serious interest in my story.

You asked, Bob, “Things like
that don't happen no more,
nowadays, do they?” Answer:
a resounding “yes, Bob, yes!”

Ron Price
19 March 2010