Published Jun 12, 2020Not long after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a global pandemic, Bob Dylan began the rollout of forthcoming new album Rough and Rowdy Ways. Now, along with some album details, he's shared some thoughts on the present situation.
In conversation with the New York Times, Dylan was asked if thinks of this pandemic in "almost biblical terms," as if it were "a plague that has swept the land."
"I think it's a forerunner of something else to come," he answered. "It's an invasion for sure, and it's widespread, but biblical? You mean like some kind of warning sign for people to repent of their wrongdoings? That would imply that the world is in line for some sort of divine punishment."
He added: "Extreme arrogance can have some disastrous penalties. Maybe we are on the eve of destruction. There are numerous ways you can think about this virus. I think you just have to let it run its course."
When asked about mortality, Dylan explained, "I think about the death of the human race. The long strange trip of the naked ape. Not to be light on it, but everybody's life is so transient. Every human being, no matter how strong or mighty, is frail when it comes to death. I think about it in general terms, not in a personal way."
Dylan's interview with the Times, which can be read here, arrives alongside the tracklist for Rough and Rowdy Ways, out June 19 on Columbia. As you'll find in the list of songs below, the previously shared "I Contain Multitudes" and "Murder Most Foul" bookend the listen.
Dylan's most recent album of original material is 2012's Tempest, but it's not like he's been inactive this whole time. More recent years have seen him release three standards collections: 2015's Shadows in the Night, 2016's Fallen Angels and 2017's Triplicate.
Rough and Rowdy Ways:
1. I Contain Multitudes
2. False Prophet
3. My Own Version of You
4. I've Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You
5. Black Rider
6. Goodbye Jimmy Reed
7. Mother of Muses
8. Crossing the Rubicon
9. Key West
10. Murder Most Foul