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Opinion: Bob Dylan 'isn't the one you want, babe'

Dege Stefan Kommentarbild App
Stefan Dege
November 17, 2016

No, Bob Dylan's cancellation isn't a surprise, says DW culture editor Stefan Dege. The text he could be sending to Stockholm on December 10 - instead of himself - has already been prepared.

Bob Dylan
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/EPA/J. Lo Scalzo

Dear Nobel Committee,

Dear friends of literature,

You like me? Yeah, ok. But I'm not there. That's a fact. Who counted on me showing up? Raise your lighters in the air!

Of course Stockholm is a beautiful city and certainly worth a trip. But I have to have my teeth done and the appointment was made a long time ago. After all, I'm 75! And mumbling all the time doesn't make it any better. I'm sure you understand. So: "Ain't Talkin'."

Thank the Swedish Academy. It was well aware of the fact that I wasn't as interested in their award as they were about their award-winner. Or have the jurors not listened to my songs? Didn't I sing back in 1964 that I'm not the right one? "I'm not the one you want, babe, I'll only let you down." The song was visionary - like so many of my songs.

Stefan Dege
DW culture editor Stefan Dege

All that singing is really hard on my voice. It's much warmer in Malibu - and not as cold as Stockholm. But they shouldn't have just listened to my texts but also to my voice. "O come all ye faithful, O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem."

Of course the Nobel Prize for Literature is a reputable prize. And I feel honored - I really do. But I'd rather have the Nobel Peace Prize. Then no one would get upset just because I'm not coming to the awards ceremony. There, the most deserving winners often don't show up. For them there is always - "Simple Twist of Fate" - an extra round of applause.

You wanted to try something completely new in your outmoded group? Music texts instead of literature? I can understand that. But did it have to be old Dylan? Why not Trump? For his pioneering election campaign lyrics. That's fiction from a master. No one has been as successful as he has.

So don't be upset with me. Take my words and leave me alone: "It ain't me, babe. It ain't me you're looking for, babe."

With all due respect,

Bob Dylan (who left after dictating this)

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