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A parody of the Bob Dylan song, The Times They Are a-Changing. Parody Lyrics written by David Cohen. Performance by Don Caron. Executive Producers Don Caron and Jerry Pender


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The Crimes They Are Arranging Lyrics
by David Cohen

Some lathered up losers
Were called to the zone
And told to come fight
For a lie that was sown
As expected by noon
How the crowd it had grown
It was time to get them engagin’
They’d better start movin’
Or he’d lose his throne
So the crimes they were arrangin’

Some senators, congressmen
Heeded the call
They opened the doorways
And spoke on the mall
For those who got hurt
Weren’t the ones that got called
While the battle just outside was ragin’
They soon broke the windows
And flooded the halls
For the crimes they’d been arrangin’

Some airheads and bigots
Throughout the land
Became politicians
Who don’t give a damn
Our rights and our freedoms
Are at their command
But they only care who’ll be payin’
Divest of these true scum
With heads in the sand
Or the crimes they’ll keep arrangin’

Some cretins and windbags
Who subvert through their lens
If we don’t stay vigil
Will just try again
And don’t think too soon
Fox won’t air their spin
There’s no tellin’ who next they’ll be framin’
For the high flyers now
They’ll say later did sin
For the crimes they are arrangin’

The lines have been drawn
The die has been cast
We must take a stand
And not live in the past
We must do it now
And we must do it fast
The time is rapidly fadin’
Be sure to vote soon
Or it could be your last
‘Cause the crimes they are a-ragin’


“The Times They Are a-Changin'” is a song written by Bob Dylan and released as the title track of his 1964 album of the same name. Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads. Released as a 45-rpm single in Britain in 1965, it reached number 9 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was not released as a single in the U.S.

Ever since its release, the song has been influential to people’s views on society, with critics noting the universal lyrics as contributing to the song’s lasting message of change. Dylan has occasionally performed it in concert. The song has been covered by many different artists, including Nina Simone; Josephine Baker; the Byrds; the Seekers; Peter, Paul and Mary; Tracy Chapman; Simon & Garfunkel; Runrig; the Beach Boys; Joan Baez; Phil Collins; Billy Joel; Bruce Springsteen; Me First and the Gimme Gimmes; Brandi Carlile; and Burl Ives. The song was ranked number 59 on Rolling Stone’s 2004 list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Dylan appears to have written the song in September and October 1963. The a- in the song title is an archaic intensifying prefix, as in the British songs “A-Hunting We Will Go” and “Here We Come a-Wassailing”, from the 18th and 19th century.

Dylan recalled writing the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the moment. In 1985, he told Cameron Crowe, “This was definitely a song with a purpose. It was influenced of course by the Irish and Scottish ballads …’Come All Ye Bold Highway Men’, ‘Come All Ye Tender Hearted Maidens’. I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time.”

Dylan biographer Clinton Heylin describes how musician Tony Glover stopped by Dylan’s apartment in September 1963, picked up a page of the song Dylan was working on, and read a line from it: “Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call.” “Turning to Dylan, Glover said, ‘What is this shit, man?’ Dylan shrugged his shoulders and replied, ‘Well, you know, it seems to be what the people want to hear.'”

Critic Michael Gray called it “the archetypal protest song.” Gray commented, “Dylan’s aim was to ride upon the unvoiced sentiment of a mass public—to give that inchoate sentiment an anthem and give its clamour an outlet. He succeeded, but the language of the song is nevertheless imprecisely and very generally directed.” Gray suggested that the song has been made obsolete by the very changes that it predicted and hence was politically out of date almost as soon as it was written.

Critic Andy Gill points out that the song’s lyrics echo lines from the Book of Ecclesiastes, which Pete Seeger adapted to create his anthem “Turn, Turn, Turn!”. The climactic line about the first later being last, likewise, is a direct scriptural reference to Mark 10:31: “But many that are first shall be last, and the last first.”

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