High school students pose threat to President with Dylan lyrics

By Katharine Mieszkowski
November 13, 2004 1:04AM (UTC)
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There's nothing like sparking a hysterical visit by the Secret Service to your high school to confirm every worst suspicion that a teenager could have about the idiocy of adults.

The members of "Coalition of the Willing," a band of students from Boulder High School, plan to sing Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" at the school talent show tonight. But when rumors surfaced on local talk radio that the band had changed the lyrics of the song during a rehearsal to threaten to kill the President, the feds were called in, according to multiple local and national news reports.


The lyrics of the anti-war anthem include: You might say that I'm young / You might say I'm unlearned / But there's one thing I know / Though I'm younger than you / Even Jesus would never / Forgive what you do

And the song ends:

And I hope that you die / And your death'll come soon / I will follow your casket / In the pale afternoon / And I'll watch while you're lowered / Down to your deathbed / And I'll stand o'er your grave / 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.


The students maintain they just rehearsed the song as its written. The Secret Service reportedly stayed at the school about 20 minutes on Thursday, and took a copy of the song's lyrics with them when they left, satisfied that President Bush was not in danger from them.

Paging Bob Dylan! He should offer to give a free concert at the school to thank the "Coalition of the Willing." The students could play back-up. In any case, the clever members of the band will have good fodder for their college application essays.

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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