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Bob Dylan - Mozambique (Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins 1976)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Mozambique on Wikipedia
Mozambique single cover.jpg
Single by Bob Dylan
from the album Desire
B-side"Oh, Sister"
ReleasedFebruary 17, 1976
RecordedJuly 30, 1975 at Columbia Studios, New York City
GenreFolk rock
Writer(s)Bob Dylan, Jacques Levy
Producer(s)Don DeVito
Bob Dylan singles chronology

"Mozambique" is a song written by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy that was originally released on Dylan's 1976 album Desire. It was also released as a single and reached #54 on the Billboard Hot 100.

At the time of the song's release, the titular country of Mozambique had just emerged from a ten-year insurgency war against Portugal which led to Mozambique's independence.[1][2] As a result, some left wing supporters wanted to see the song as lending support to the newly independent country.[1] However, the lyrics of the song don't support such an interpretation, being slight and treating the country as merely a place for a romantic getaway in the sun, apart from a fleeting reference to "people living free".[1] This angered some of Dylan's fans.[2] Music critic Paul Williams suggests that "Mozambique" may have had its genesis in Dylan's desire to write a song about Marseilles.[3]

The melody received more praise than the lyrics. Robert Shelton describes the tune as "playful."[4] Authors Oliver Trager and John Nogowski both describe the melody as "great" and particularly praise the violin playing of Scarlet Rivera.[1][5]

Author Oliver Trager describes "Mozambique" as "a light love song with lighter political overtones."[1] Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine calls it "effervescent" and "Dylan at his breeziest."[6] Paul Williams considers "Mozambique" to be one of several songs on Desire with "wonderful, inventive, pleasure-giving" music which nonetheless fails to reach the intensity and unity of the other songs because the lyrics are "a little too vague, too clever" and "too distanced."[3] Dylan biographer Clinton Heylin considers the song to be a "ditty dredged up from the bottom of the barrel," "ghastly" and "the weakest song on Desire."[2][7]

"Mozambique" was also released as a single as a follow up to the Top 40 hit "Hurricane" and it reached #54 on the Billboard Hot 100.[8] Heylin suggests that Dylan may have released it as a single over songs fans might have preferred—particularly "Sara"—to spite fans who criticized the song for its slight lyrics trivializing the conflict in Mozambique.[2] The song also appeared on the compilation album Masterpieces.[9] A live performance was included in the television special Hard Rain but not on the associated album.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Trager, O. (2004). Keys to the Rain. Billboard Books. p. 436. ISBN 0823079740. 
  2. ^ a b c d Heylin, C. (2010). Still on the Road. Chicago Review Press. p. 83. ISBN 9781556528446. 
  3. ^ a b c Williams, P. (1994). Bob Dylan Performing Artist: 1974-1986. Omnibus Press. pp. 45, 47, 88. ISBN 0711935556. 
  4. ^ Shelton, R. (1986). No Direction Home. Da Capo Press. p. 466. ISBN 0306807823. 
  5. ^ Nogowski, J. (2008). Bob Dylan: A Descriptive, Critical Discography and Filmography (2nd ed.). McFarland. p. 75. ISBN 9780786435180. 
  6. ^ Erlewine, S.T. "Desire". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  7. ^ Heylin, C. (1995). Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions 1960-1994. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 113. ISBN 0312150679. 
  8. ^ "Desire Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  9. ^ "Mozambique". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 

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