Sunday, 20 March 2022

Sunday shorts: Oxford Town

Early 60s Dylan song is short shocker! So what? Well, Oxford Town was composed in response to an open invitation from Broadside magazine for songs about one of the top news events of 1962: the enrollment of a black student, James Meredith, at the previously segregated University of Mississippi. Here's Marion Trikosko's photograph of James being escorted into the university by U.S. Marshal James McShane (left) and John Doar of the Justice Department (right).

James Meredith OleMiss.jpg

You can read more about James here, and also about the riots that his university enrolment sadly triggered.

As for the song competition, among other submissions the magazine received was Phil Ochs' Ballad of Oxford, Mississippi. But that's too long for a Sunday short, so here's Bob's effort, the lyrics to which were printed by Broadside in December 1962.


  1. Shocking stuff - the background story and riot, I mean, not Dylan's brevity on a Sunday! - but sadly a part of history we can't deny. I've only recently started to appreciate Dylan more fully. It was only really after watching Scorsese's 'No Direction Home' that things fell into place.
    Talking of watching things, not connected to Dylan but did you see The Story of 1992, Top Of The Pops the other evening? Amongst other interesting snippets it included a lovely interview with David Gedge. I thought of you and fellow bloggers!

    1. I did see Mr Gedge and his interview. Have I mentioned that they're doing the one single a month thing again this year, by subscription?