Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Catfish McDaris Starts off the 1940s Contest

By John Phelan - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

A while back Catfish McDaris sent me a Dylan poem that was previously published in the late Camel Saloon (do you remember that venue?).  I trust that you will enjoy it, and I hope that it will inspire you to write something for the 1940s contest--or one of the other contests this summer/fall.

Bob Dylan Is Dead Or Rage Into The Night Mr. Jones
by Catfish McDaris

I grew up in N.M. in
a small town noted
for musicians &
snooker hustlers

My best amigo was
a Dylan fanatic, he
studied his words, 
guitar, & harmonica

Forget The Beatles,
Jimi, or The Doors
it was Minnesota
Zimmie 24/7

Wanting to put moves 
on his beautiful
concrete blonde sister
after long pursuit we
consummated our infatuation

Their father came calling
& said I'd infested his
baby with fleas & ruined her

Deciding it might be time
to seek my fortune elsewhere
I took my hot sauce recipe
for Louisiana champagne east

Outside of Tucumcari I picked
up this dude that hummed 
Ballad of a Thin Man for 3
states, when I got to Highway 61

He stepped in front of
a west bound semi full
of pigs, there wasn't 
much left of him 

I'm not sure if he was
Jewish or if going that 
way was kosher, but at
least I hope he's knocking

on heaven's door.

Let's see if I can find some covers of Dylan.  

Let's start with "Ballad of a Thin Man" covered by Elliott Smith back in 1998:

In 1987, Dylan toured with the Dead, and then in 1988, the Dead covered some of his songs.  Here is their version of "Ballad of a Thin Man":

They also did "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again":

Here is their "Queen Jane Approximately":

 I'll finish with the Scottish band Anton and the Colts' version of "Highway 61":


For more information about the current contests, see the entry below:


  1. Evokes a mood for sure -- the whole appeal of Dylan: young passion, gritty travel, irony, music and spirit wrapped into one. Nice!

  2. Love this! Oh the guy getting hit by that truck. This is storytelling and poetry at its best!