:: Title :: Masters Of War / Commentary by Bob Dylan about Masters Of War, John F. Kennedy, and Nikita Khrushchev
:: Genre :: popular song, protest song, spoken, topical song
:: Performers & Instruments ::
Dylan, Bob [vocal]
Lomax, Alan [vocal]
:: Setting :: Alan Lomax's apartment
:: Location :: Manhattan, New York City (None), New York (United States)
:: Language :: English
:: Culture :: Anglo-American, U.S. Pop
:: Session :: Bob Dylan 1/63
:: Date :: 01/1963
:: Reference Information :: T1248.0, Track 15 (00:07:58)
:: Original Format :: Reel to Reel
:: Session Notes ::
1 - This brief session features a young Bob Dylan performing a private performance of "Masters Of War" followed by a lively conversation about the origins of the song and current geopolitics.
:: Recording Notes ::
0 - Bob Dylan discusses composing "Masters of War" in England after reading an article about Kennedy and MacMillan. He tells a brief story about Nikita Khrushchev.
0 - Todd Harvey reports in his "The Formative Dylan" (Scarecrow Press, 2001) that Dylan wrote "Masters of War" in January 1963, composing new lyrics to the melody of "Nottamun Town." His melodic variant was derived primarily from Knott County, Kentucky; more specifically, from Jean Ritchie and her family, who are the primary American source for the song, which originated in the British Isles. Harvey refers to Clinton Heylin's suggestion, in the latter's "Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades" (Summit Books, 1991), that Dylan learned "Nottamun Town" from revivalist singer Bob Davenport during a visit to England. Harvey continues that "Jean Ritchie traveled to the British Isles in 1952 on a Fulbright scholarship where [sic] she tried to identify sources for her family's songs. The trip probably had the unintended effect of reintroducing some songs to British folk revivalists. If this is the case, it would represent a circuitous transmission ? from British points unknown, to the Ritchie family in Kentucky, to New York with Jean Ritchie, to England with Jean Ritchie, to Bob Davenport, to Dylan." Then back to New York with Dylan, and, among other places, into Lomax's tape recorder. [Source: Editor]
:: Collection :: Miscellaneous Recordings 1950-1990

 

 

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