What a drag it is to see you? St. Paul mulls street name change to honor Dylan

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performs at Duluth's Bayfront Festival Park in July 2013.
AP photo | File 2013

The St. Paul City Council will meet Wednesday to consider naming a downtown street after a famous Bob Dylan song.

The resolution, introduced by Council Member Dave Thune, would change the name of 4th Street next to the new CHS Field to "Positively 4th Street."

"Positively 4th Street" was a single released by Dylan in 1965 that rose to seventh on the Billboard Hot 100.

The 4th Street in the song is thought to refer to the folk hub of Greenwich Village or possibly even 4th Street in the Dinkytown neighborhood of Minneapolis, near where Dylan attended the University of Minnesota.

Thune isn't claiming that the song is about St. Paul, but instead argues in the resolution that Dylan has played multiple sold-out shows at the St. Paul Saints' old stadium and toured extensively in minor league baseball parks across the country.

The lyrics to the song detail Dylan's dissatisfaction with a former acquaintance, singing, "I know the reason that you talk behind my back, I used to be among the crowd you're in with." There's been speculation that many high-profile members of the folk scene, including Phil Ochs or Tom Paxton, may have been targets for the song.

The resolution claims naming the street for the famously bitter song would "add to the positive experience of fans and visitors arriving in downtown to cheer for its baseball team."

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