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Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat

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2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 1 Commentary

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Leopard Skin Pill-box Hat is one of Dylan’s funniest songs. Dylan is often accused of being morose, downbeat, a buzz-kill. Nothing could be further from the truth. From his first album (see Talkin’ New York) to his latest release, humor is a consistent ingredient. He even tells jokes at his live shows. (my favorite: “My ex-wife is a tennis player. Love means nothing to her.”)

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Some readers might be unfamiliar with pill-box hats. This type of hat goes back at least into Elizabethan times. Although it has often been used as an accessory with military uniforms, it’s generally known as a woman’s hat. It usually has a flat top and straight, upright sides. Jacqueline Kennedy made them popular in the early sixties. Kennedy was wearing a pink pill-box on the day her husband was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 The pill-box hat serves little purpose. It’s not warm, it doesn’t protect the face, and it is difficult to keep on one’s head. It’s a vanity hat, which is probably why Dylan chose to put this type of hat on the woman being ridiculed in the song.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 So why is it a “leopard-skin” hat? Leopard-skin has been used for woman’s clothing for many years, and was especially popular in the sixties. Sexually suggestive, leopard-skin was often used in woman’s underwear and other nighttime attire. Leopard-skin has also long been associated with ‘loose women’.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Many commentators have suggested that this song – and also Like a Rolling Stone and Just Like a Woman – might have been inspired by Edie Sedgwick. Edie was a wild child with a perchance for wearing outlandish clothing. A leopard-skin pill box hat would probably have fit right into her wardrobe. George Plimpton, in his book, Edie, recounts an interview with the one-time leader singer of the Velvet Underground, Nico, in which she claims that the song is about Edie. However, she provides no hard evidence.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 Leopard Skin is a twelve-bar blues song. Dylan clearly used Lightnin’ Hopkins’s Automobile Blues as a model, both musically and lyrically. The song is another good example of how Dylan modernizes an old style. Here are Hopkins’s lyrics:

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 I saw you riding ’round in your brand new automobile
Yes I saw you ridin’ around, babe, in your brand new automobile
Yes you was sitting there happy with your handsome driver at the wheel
In your brand new automobile

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 Now your car so pretty baby, will you let me drive sometime
Yes your car so pretty baby, please let me drive sometime
She says her chauffeur was a good chauffeur, lord but he ain’t like mine
In your brand new automobile

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19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Lyrics

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 Well, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Yes, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Well, you must tell me, baby
How your head feels under somethin’ like that
Under your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 Well, you look so pretty in it
Honey, can I jump on it sometime?
Yes, I just wanna see
If it’s really that expensive kind
You know it balances on your head
Just like a mattress balances
On a bottle of wine
Your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 Well, if you wanna see the sun rise
Honey, I know where
We’ll go out and see it sometime
We’ll both just sit there and stare
Me with my belt
Wrapped around my head
And you just sittin’ there
In your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 Well, I asked the doctor if I could see you
It’s bad for your health, he said
Yes, I disobeyed his orders
I came to see you
But I found him there instead
You know, I don’t mind him cheatin’ on me
But I sure wish he’d take that off his head
Your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 Well, I see you got a new boyfriend
You know, I never seen him before
Well, I saw him
Makin’ love to you
You forgot to close the garage door
You might think he loves you for your money
But I know what he really loves you for
It’s your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat

Page 81
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Source: http://www.bobdylancommentaries.com/blonde-on-blonde/leopard-skin-pill-box-hat/