Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music and musicians from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

Bob Dylan, “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream”

In which the great Bob Dylan sets the scene with “I was riding on the Mayflower when I thought I spied some land.” And then, he has to stop and start again because he can’t stop giggling. This was 1965. He may have had his reasons. Anyhow, what follows may be one of Dylan’s most inspired moments as a lyricist, a hilarious trip down Dylan’s stream of consciousness on a whaling ship with Captain Arab (rhymes with Ahab). “I think I’ll call it America,” Dylan proclaims, with a wheeze, when they stumble across a new continent. Arab wants to buy the place with beads. Instead, they get arrested. Dylan busts out, orders Crepe Suzette, gets taken by a French girl, leaps a hot dog stand, gives up on raising bail and heads back to the ship alone. But as he’s setting sail, he sees three more ships heading into shore. “I asked the captain what his name was and how come he didn’t drive a truck,” Dylan sings. “He said his name was Columbus. I just said, ‘Good luck.’ ” Now that, my friends, is cause for giving thanks.

Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream is meant to lampoon modern American society. The narrator is riding on the Mayflower, lands in America, and is immediately met with a series of calamities and indignities dealt out by the native savages. However, the “savages” aren’t Native Americans, but instead modern-day Americans.

Bob Dylan, 115th Dream, Album: Bringing It All Back Home. Released March 22, 1965

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