While our Sharp Notes, Sharp Thoughts music and social media project is on hiatus for the summer, we are sharing a song every Monday to start your week.
Back in 1964, Bob Dylan wrote a seven-minute ant-establishment tirade called “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” that appeared on his “Bringing it All Back Home” album the following year.
Dylan has written hundreds of songs over the years, but “It’s Alright, Ma” is one of the few that he continues to perform in concert, perhaps because it connects in different ways with different people and different events.
For example, one of the most enduring parts of the song is the line: “But even the president of the United States must stand naked.”
At the time Dylan wrote the song, those words likely resonated with American youth who had become disillusioned with government, particularly the presidents who under whom the nation’s involvement in Vietnam escalated.
But in 1974, when Dylan returned to the stage after an eight-year hiatus from touring, the line took on a new relevancy and drew cheers because of Watergate and Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency.
Now the FBI’s Aug. 8 raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and club (regardless of what authorities find or do not find) is one of those events that reminds that no one is above the law — or as Dylan put it back in 1964: “But even the president of the United States must stand naked.”
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