Bob Dylan just scored his first-ever number 1 hit: a 17-minute song about the Kennedy assassination
via Thomas Dollinger / Twitter

Bob Dylan's new single, "Murder Most Foul" about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and its impact on America is his first to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is remarkable because it does a great job at documenting the history of the event while also portraying the raw emotional energy surrounding the assassination.

Dylan has written songs that went to number one for other artists, Peter, Paul and Mary's "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man" (1965). But, at the tender age of 78, this is the first in Dylan's own name.

He reached number two on the Hot 100 twice in 1965 with "Like a Rolling Stone" (1965) "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" (a.k.a "Everybody Must Get Stoned"). He hit #2 on the Adult Alternative charts in 2000 with "Things Have Changed."




Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul (Official Audio) www.youtube.com



"Murder Most Foul" by Bob Dylan

1.

'Twas a dark day in Dallas - November '63
The day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was riding high
A good day to be living and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
Say wait a minute boys, do you know who I am?
Of course we do, we know who you are
Then they blew off his head when he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
'Twas a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts and we've come to collect
We're gon' kill you with hatred and without any respect
We'll mock you and shock you, we'll grin in your face
We've already got someone here to take your place
The day that they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching, no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly - so quick by surprise
Right there in front of everyone's eyes

Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman, howl
Rub a dub dub – it's murder most foul

2.
Hush li'l children, you'll soon understand
The Beatles are coming they're gonna hold your hand
Slide down the bannister, go get your coat
Ferry 'cross the Mersey and go for the throat
There's three bums comin' all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I'm going to Woodstock, it's the Aquarian Age
Then I'll go over to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window, let the good times roll
There's a party going on behind the grassy knoll
Stack up the bricks and pour the cement
Don't say Dallas don't love you, Mr. President
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Black face singer - white face clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down

I'm in the red-light district like a cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street
When you're down on deep Ellum put your money in your shoe
Don't ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the barrel head, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make a left hand turn
I'm going to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride
That's the place where Faith, Hope and Charity died
Shoot 'em while he runs, boy, shoot 'em while you can
See if you can shoot the Invisible Man
Goodbye, Charlie, goodbye Uncle Sam
Frankly, Miss Scarlet, I don't give a damn
What is the truth and where did it go
Ask Oswald and Ruby - they oughta know
Shut your mouth, says the wise old owl
Business is business and it's murder most foul

3.
Tommy can you hear me, I'm the Acid Queen
I'm ridin' in a long black Lincoln limousine
Ridin' in the back seat, next to my wife
Heading straight on into the afterlife
I'm leaning to the left, got my head in her lap
Oh Lord, I've been led into some kind of a trap
We ask no quarter, no quarter do we give
We're right down the street from the street where you live
They mutilated his body and took out his brain
What more could they do, they piled on the pain
But his soul was not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they've been searching for that
Freedom, oh freedom, freedom over me
Hate to tell you, Mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some loving - tell me no lie
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake Up, Little Suzie, let's go for a drive
Cross the Trinity River, let's keep hope alive
Turn the radio on, don't touch the dials
Parkland Hospital's only six more miles
You got me Dizzy Miss Lizzy, you filled me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I'm just a patsy like Patsy Cline
I never shot anyone from in front or behind
Got blood in my eyes, got blood in my ear
I'm never gonna make it to the New Frontier

Zapruder's film, I've seen that before
Seen it thirty three times, maybe more
It's vile and deceitful - it's cruel and it's mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once, they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice
The day that they killed him, someone said to me, "Son,
The age of the anti-Christ has just only begun."
Air Force One coming in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at two thirty-eight
Let me know when you decide to throw in the towel
It is what it is and it's murder most foul

4.
What's New Pussycat - wha'd I say
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
It's beginning to go down into a slow decay
And that it's thirty-six hours past judgment day
Wolfman Jack, he's speaking in tongues
He's going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr. Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play that Only The Good Die Young
Take me to the place where Tom Dooley was hung
Play St. James Infirmary in the court of King James
If you want to remember, better write down the names
Play Etta James too, play I'd Rather Go Blind
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker play Scratch My Back
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim - Goin' Down Slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe
And please, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Play it for the First Lady, she ain't feeling that good
Play Don Henley - play Glenn Frey
Take it to the Limit and let it go by
And play it for Carl Wilson, too
Lookin' far, far away down Gower Avenue
Play Tragedy, play Twilight Time
Take Me Back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and Another One Bites the Dust
Play the Old Rugged Cross and in G-d We Trust
Ride the Pink Horse down that Long, Lonesome Road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play Mystery Train for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead, like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend, play it for the Pastor
Play it for the dog that's got no master
Play Oscar Peterson and play Stan Getz
Play Blue Sky, play Dickie Betts
Play Art Pepper, play Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and All That Jazz
Play something for The Birdman of Alcatraz
Play Buster Keaton play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play all the numbers, play all the odds
Play Cry Me A River for the Lord of the Gods
Play number nine, play number six
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks
Play Nat King Cole, play Nature Boy
Play Down in the Boondocks for Terry Malloy
Play It Happened One Night and One Night of Sin
There's twelve million souls that are listening in
Play the Merchant of Venice, play the merchants of death
Play Stella by Starlight for Lady Macbeth
Don't worry Mr. President, help's on the way
Your brothers are comin', there'll be hell to pay
Brothers? What brothers? What's this about hell?
Tell 'em we're waitin'- keep coming - we'll get 'em as well
Love Field is where his plane touched down
But it never did get back up off of the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the Rising Sun
Play Misty for me and that Old Devil Moon
Play Anything Goes and Memphis in June
Play Lonely at the Top and Lonely Are the Brave
Play it for Houdini spinning around in his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play Lucille
Play Deep in a Dream and play Drivin' Wheel
Play Moonlight Sonata in F sharp
And Key to the Highway by the king of the harp
Play Marchin' Through Georgia and Dumbarton's drum
Play Darkness and death will come when it comes
Play Love Me or Leave Me by the great Bud Powell
Play the Blood Stained Banner - play Murder Most Fo
ul

True

Judy Vaughan has spent most of her life helping other women, first as the director of House of Ruth, a safe haven for homeless families in East Los Angeles, and later as the Project Coordinator for Women for Guatemala, a solidarity organization committed to raising awareness about human rights abuses.

But in 1996, she decided to take things a step further. A house became available in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and she was offered the opportunity to use it to help other women and children. So, in partnership with a group of 13 people who she knew from her years of activism, she decided to make it a transitional residence program for homeless women and their children. They called the program Alexandria House.

"I had learned from House of Ruth that families who are homeless are often isolated from the surrounding community," Judy says. "So we decided that as part of our mission, we would also be a neighborhood center and offer a number of resources and programs, including an after-school program and ESL classes."

She also decided that, unlike many other shelters in Los Angeles, she would accept mothers with their teenage boys.

"There are very few in Los Angeles [that do] due to what are considered liability issues," Judy explains. "Given the fact that there are (conservatively) 56,000 homeless people and only about 11,000 shelter beds on any one night, agencies can be selective on who they take."

Their Board of Directors had already determined that they should take families that would have difficulties finding a place. Some of these challenges include families with more than two children, immigrant families without legal documents, moms who are pregnant with other small children, families with a member who has a disability [and] families with service dogs.

"Being separated from your son or sons, especially in the early teen years, just adds to the stress that moms who are unhoused are already experiencing," Judy says.

"We were determined to offer women with teenage boys another choice."

Courtesy of Judy Vaughan

Alexandria House also doesn't kick boys out when they turn 18. For example, Judy says they currently have a mom with two daughters (21 and 2) and a son who just turned 18. The family had struggled to find a shelter that would take them all together, and once they found Alexandria House, they worried the boy would be kicked out on his 18th birthday. But, says Judy, "we were not going to ask him to leave because of his age."

Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles. "[It] is considered the homeless capital of the United States," Judy says. "The numbers have not changed significantly since 1984 when I was working at the House of Ruth." The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem. According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), over 66,000 people in the greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness in 2020, representing a rise of 12.7% compared with the year before.

Each woman who comes to Alexandria House has her own unique story, but some common reasons for ending up homeless include fleeing from a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, aging out of foster care and having no place to go, being priced out of an apartment, losing a job, or experiencing a family emergency with no 'cushion' to pay the rent.

"Homelessness is not a definition; it is a situation that a person finds themselves in, and in fact, it can happen to almost anyone. There are many practices and policies that make it almost impossible to break out of poverty and move out of homelessness."

And that's why Alexandria House exists: to help them move out of it. How long that takes depends on the woman, but according to Judy, families stay an average of 10 months. During that time, the women meet with support staff to identify needs and goals and put a plan of action in place.

A number of services are provided, including free childcare, programs and mentoring for school-age children, free mental health counseling, financial literacy classes and a savings program. They have also started Step Up Sisterhood LA, an entrepreneurial program to support women's dreams of starting their own businesses. "We serve as a support system for as long as a family would like," Judy says, even after they have moved on.

And so far, the program is a resounding success.

92 percent of the 200 families who stayed at Alexandria House have found financial stability and permanent housing — not becoming homeless again.

Since founding Alexandria House 25 years ago, Judy has never lost sight of her mission to join with others and create a vision of a more just society and community. That is why she is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year — and the donation she receives as a nominee will go to Alexandria House and will help grow the new Start-up Sisterhood LA program.

"Alexandria House is such an important part of my life," says Judy. "It has been amazing to watch the children grow up and the moms recreate their lives for themselves and for their families. I have witnessed resiliency, courage, and heroic acts of generosity."

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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