I was Union Jacked, Kerouac'd
John Birched, stopped and searched
Rolling Stoned and Beatled till I'm blind
I've been Ayn Randed, nearly branded
Communist 'cos I'm lefthanded:
That's the hand they use, well, never mind!

I've been Walt Disneyed, Dis Disleyed
John Lennoned, Krishna Menoned
Walter Brennan punched out Cassius Clay
I've heard the truth from Lenny Bruce
and all my wealth won't buy me health
So I smoke a pint of tea a day

I knew a man his brain so small,
He couldn't think of nothin' at all.
He's not the same as you and me.
He doesn't dig poetry. He's so unhip that
When you say Dylan, he thinks you're talkin' about Dylan
Whoever he is.
The man ain't got no culture,
But its alright, Ma,
It's just sumpthin' I learned over in England.

I've been James Joyced, Rolls Royced
Mick Jaggered, silver daggered
Andy Warhol won't you please come home?
I've been mother, fathered, aunt and uncled
Tom Wilsoned, Art Garfunkled
Barry Kornfeld's mother's on the phone

When in London, do as I do
Find yourself a friendly haiku
Go to sleep for ten or fifteen years

Lyrics submitted by MitchHedberg97

A simple desultory philippic (or how I was Lyndon Johnson'd to death) song meanings
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  • +1
    My OpinionI think it seems like it's more about a clueless Dylan fan rather than Dylan (Bob!) himself.
    shadowmaxon November 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmean.

    i like dylan, and get kind of defensive when paul simon (who has his own musical and/or lyrical points of justified mockery) makes fun of him. that said... love the title ;)
    jalopyon November 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe title is wrong... it should read: A Simple Desultory Phillipic (or How I was Lyndon Johnsoned into Submission)

    in any case, I don't think it's necessarily making fun of dylan, the beatles or anyone else. If it is mocking anything it's society for holding these figures up as untouchable

    specifically, in the dylan reference, he's taking on the character of a dylan fan, not attacking dylan himself.
    biseposton February 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbut the whole song is performed as an exaggerated version of dylan's music (including harmonica); it uses dylan's style of making enigmatic repetitive rhymes and turning proper nouns into verbs in a ridiculous, meaningless way; simon ends his sentences with an overdone version of dylans drawn-out nasal lilt... i do agree that he's also mocking the cult followings of these pop-culture icons and events, but to say it's NOT directly mocking dylan is a stretch for me. you can't parody someone's music without in some way making fun of them; and the title itself is an indirect reference to dylan's style
    jalopyon April 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsn't the second part of the title "How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission"?
    Dabizion April 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah...The S&G version is "Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission".... This is just Paul.
    eversincethewatermelonon February 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhile either nod or a light punch on his arm, that doesn't get to the song's meaning. That's the INFLUENCE or homage here ... I think the MEANING is about the impact politics, news, and pop culture on people leaving them in a confused and/or overwhelmed state
    dzyllahon January 29, 2017   Link

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