…do you, Mr. Jones?
Bob Dylan’s Masters of War is a hard-hitting, anti-war song produced more than 20 years before any current Boulder High School student was born.
More than 40 years after its release, the song has been resurrected at Boulder High with huge and confusing repercussions that prompted Secret Service agents to pay the campus a visit Thursday.
Some students and parents apparently let the Secret Service and talk-radio stations know they were unhappy with the plan of a trio of students to do a poetry reading of the song, accompanied by background music, according to Ron Cabrera, the school’s principal.
Rumors were rampant that during an audition and rehearsal for today’s talent show, the students changed Dylan’s powerful last verse at the end of the song to say that they hoped that President Bush was going to die.
The last verse begins: “And I hope that you die; And your death’ll come soon.”
Secret Service agents interviewed Cabrera on Thursday to determine what all the uproar was about and whether any threats were being made against the president’s life.
“They were following up and doing their due diligence,” Cabrera said of the agents’ visit. “They had been receiving calls from the community and, in the course of the talk show, felt like they had heard (the students) inciting physical harm to the president.”
Cabrera said he talked to the students and teachers who have been working with them, and he was told the group, which calls itself the Coalition of the Willing, made no reference to Bush.
“I don’t know why it surfaced,” Cabrera said of the complaints. “I think they’re surprised by all the allegations.”
Cabrera said he also showed the agents the lyrics of the entire song. The agents appeared to have left satisfied that no bona-fide threat was being directed at the president, he said.
All right then. A couple of high school kids singing an old Bob Dylan song, as it turns out, were not threats to the life of the President. Glad we got that one cleared up.
Next up: the Secret Service visits Political Pet Toys, to investigate rumors that four legged carnivores are planning to chew on the President’s head, and maybe chase after him if he is tossed across the lawn.