Just three weeks after releasing his first new original song in eight years, the 17-minute-epic “Murder Most Foul,” Bob Dylan has delivered another brand-new tune, “I Contain Multitudes.”
Like “Murder Most Foul,” the new track features a sparse acoustic sound, although it clocks in at a more moderate four-minutes, 38 seconds. Also like “Murder Most Foul,” “I Contain Multitudes” finds Dylan name-checking a variety of music artists, as well as historic, literary and pop culture figures, among them Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Frank, Indiana Jones, The Rolling Stones, William Blake, Beethoven, and Chopin.
At one point, the 78-year-old folk-rock legend even references the David Bowie song “All the Young Dudes.”
“I Contain Multitudes” is sung from the perspective of a somewhat dark character, perhaps Dylan himself, explaining the varying and sometimes contradictory aspects of his personality. The tune’s title is taken from a line in the famous Walt Whitman poem “Song of Myself, 51” — “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
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