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Linguist Determines Bob Dylan Has Been Unintelligibly Wailing “Please Just Let Me Die” Onstage for Past Two Decades

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard University linguistics professor Anne Pierogi believes she is able to decipher the venerable folk singer’s garbled utterances, report sources who like Leonard Cohen more anyway.

“While Dylan’s vocal delivery has definitely changed over time, it was assumed that he was still singing the same words,” said Professor Pierogi while studying grotesque, close-up images of Dylan’s puckered old mouth. “However, with the assistance of advanced software, I’ve been able to decode what he’s really been singing, and it’s pretty grim. For example, during a 2021 performance of ‘Maggie’s Farm’ he can be heard wailing, ‘I’m eighty fucking years old, put me in the ground already.’ In fact, once translated, most of what he sings at performances these days is some variation on his desperate wish to die.”

Some fans are grateful for the finding, saying that it validates concerns they’d had over late-career Dylan.

“Those of us who suggested Dylan was changing his lyrics were shouted down on the message boards and accused of not being true fans,” said hardcore Dylan-head Nicole Bresnehan. “But it turns out we were right! I first suspected something was up when I swore I heard him mention Dr. Kevorkian during a performance of ‘Positively 4th Street’ at a concert a few years ago. As a lifelong fan, I think I can tell the difference if he sings ‘tangled up in blue’ or ‘tying up a noose.’ In response to the discovery, I’ve started a subreddit called r/euthanize-dylan where fans can discuss humane ways to end his suffering.”

Biohacking expert David Spalding says that management using technology to artificially extend the lives of performers is more common than most people would think.

“There are a lot of people whose livelihoods depend on geriatric rock stars continuing to fill stadiums,” said Spalding while receiving a transfusion of young person blood. “Apparently, Dylan’s handlers force him to wear a mechanical exoskeleton under his clothes which allows him to stand and walk around. Otherwise, he just lays there and moans. Mick Jagger receives daily injections of experimental nanobots which prevent his skin from sloughing off. And you didn’t hear this from me, but supposedly McCartney’s got a prosthetic head.”

As of press time, Pierogi had begun a new project, stating “I’m currently seeking funding to study just what the fuck Mark E. Smith of the Fall was yammering on about for all those years.”