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Dylan Plays Israel: A Suggested Setlist

Appropriate songs for his Tel Aviv gig

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Bob Dylan and Tzipi Livni.(Len Small/Tablet Magazine)

The man himself, Mr. Bob Dylan, will be playing Ramat Gan Stadium outside Tel Aviv on June 20, in what will be only his third concert in Israel and his first since 1993. Dylan is notoriously reticent during most of his live appearances, abstaining from chatting up the audience between songs. Over the last decade, moreover, his setlists have fallen into fairly inflexible routines (he nearly always encores with “All Along the Watchtower” and “Like a Rolling Stone,” for example). However, we thought that he might make an exception in Israel and dedicate a few of his hits to the local luminaries. Some respectful suggestions:

“Simple Twist of Fate”: For every Israeli sports team that has tried, and almost succeeded, and eventually failed to advance in any important international tournament.

“Maggie’s Farm”: For former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is always on the lookout for a good real estate deal.

“Somebody Touched Me”: For former President Moshe Katsav.

“I Shall Be Released”: For Marwan Barghouti, the popular Palestinian leader, currently languishing in an Israeli prison.

“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”: For Defense Minister Ehud Barak, quitter extraordinaire.

”You Gotta Serve Somebody”: For the evangelical Christian tour groups.

“It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding”: For every child, Israeli and Palestinian, needlessly dying while leaders keep on missing opportunities and breaking promises.

“Subterranean Homesick Blues”: For Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier held in some subterranean basement in Gaza, homesick and, more importantly, probably actually sick.


“Gates of Eden”: For the Messiah, who has not come yet.

“The Mighty Quinn”: Because when He does come, everybody’s gonna jump for joy (and maybe he’ll even be an Eskimo).

“Girl From the North Country”: For Golda Meir, Wisconsin’s own and still a rock star.

Dylan Show Confirmed for June in Ramat Gan [JPost]

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Really? No “Neighborhood Bully”?

I’m quite confused with the ignorant Left’s fascination with Barghouti – he is a terrorist. Why do you want him released, Liel? So he can kill more Israelis? Would that make you happy?

Julie says:

Is it just me, or do others think that Tzipi looks exactly like Tami Taylor from “Friday Night Lights” there?

Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

“For Marwan Barghouti, the popular Palestinian leader, currently languishing in an Israeli prison.”

How about “Marwant Barghouti who is serving 5 life terms (plus a few years) for murder of random innocents”…. nah.. What’s a few Jewish lives between friends… pocket change.

LL rigidly parrots the straight Meretz line and Meretz MKs are notorious for using their privileges as MKs to visit Barghouti in jail. And now Amos Oz sent MB and autographed and inscribed copy of his latest novel (it should have been called “Delusional AO in Fantasyland”).

Once again LL demonstrates an ironclad law of nature: Political correctness is inversely proportional to factual correctness. And above all, LL is politically correct.



The “Story of Isaac” for today’s altar builders

How about “Ballad of a Thin Man” for all the Liel Liebovitzes out there who “know something is happening but don’t know what it is.” Liebovitz misses the most obvious point, that it actually takes some guts these days for performers to play in Israel in the face of the growing Nazi-style boycott of Israel.

To Julie: I don’t think that Tzipi is a Tami Taylor look-a-like, but I give you high praise for finding a way to reference “Friday Night Lights” while discussing Israel.

Is East Dillon a metaphor for East Jerusalem?

Rafi points out “Neighborhood Bully.” This song is really the only Dylan song that is directly applicable to Israel.

I wonder if any anti-Israel groups will hassle Dylan for playing Israel. I doubt Dylan would care. I also doubt that he will vary his set list much if at all. Unfortunately, given his vocal performance at the Grammy’s, Bob may not have much of a voice left. He may just stand on stage flipping signs with lyrics on them as he did with Allen Ginsburg for “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”

After the events in Israel of the last 2 weeks how about Blowing in the Wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky? (Rockets in the South)
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry? (the Fogel family and the victims of the bus bombing)
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died? (I think all Israelis know the answer)
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

This was a joke that fell flat. Marwan Barghouti is a brutal terrorist responsible for the deaths of innocents Jews. To compare him to Gilad Shalit is really, really foul.

Bernard says:

Most of the comments with the exception of referencing and identifying Barghouti for the murderer he is , is somewhat childish.
What is of paramount importance is that a man of Dylan’s stature, in contemporary culture, would come to Israel at this time . that very fact is a hugh statement . Just look at that milquetoast Costello and his Pixie followers.
I applaud you ,Mr Dylan, for your dignity and resolve.

Yisrael says:

I guess somebody smarter than me needs to explain how one squares the description of Marwan Barghouti as a “popular Palestinian leader” with the insinuation a few lines down that all that’s missing in search of peace is for leaders to stop missing opportunities. Seriously, if the most popular political leader in the putative Palestinian state is a murderer serving 5 life sentences (or “languishing” as Marc and Liel describe him), I think there’s something missing besides strong leadership.

Jerry Berkowitz says:

Re: The picture of the album cover: I liked the picture of the album cover in Suze’s obit in the NYT on March 1, where she is smiling. In an interview she said she was very happy at that time.
(Do not use my real name, please. Just say JB)

Steve E. says:

The Story of Isaac would be appropriate, but it is a Leonard Cohen song. Dylan has covered Leonard before (Hallelujah) so who knows?

Michael E. says:

Perhaps Bob will surprise everyone with the rarely-played “Man of Peace”, with a deadpan dedication to the late Yasser Arafat and the Nobel Peace Prize committee, as in “…sometimes the devil comes as a man of peace”.


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Dylan Plays Israel: A Suggested Setlist

Appropriate songs for his Tel Aviv gig

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