Staff Post

"Masters Of War", "Working Class Hero", and "Nottamun Town"

masters of war

I find this kind of  musical synergy fascinating. I'm a fan of Bob Dylan and John Lennon and I know Jean Ritchie's work a little from her appalachian dulcimer books and recordings. "Masters of War" is a well known early Dylan song. It's was released 50 years ago and has held up pretty well! "Working Class Hero" is a John Lennon song from his first post-Beatles solo album. Both songs have a similar feel and I learned the other day that both trace their sound back to a traditional English folk song called "Nottamun Town" recorded by Jean Ritchie. Dylan is notorious for "borrowing" melodies, even lyrics, from other sources and this is a prime example. The origin and meaning of "Nottamun Town" are cloudy, but the melody lives on in these two classic folk/rock songs. Have a listen: