Fact Check: Did Dylan Quote Star Trek?

A few years ago, I wrote a post about Bob Dylan’s 1985 single “Tight Connection to My Heart” and the origins of two lines that appeared to come from the Star Trek episode “The Squire of Gothos.” At that time, I dug around and noted several published sources that indicated the line originally appeared in the Humphrey Bogart film, Tokyo Joe.

Long story short, I was incorrect and my sources were too.

I checked the facts, partly because of Dylan’s new collection Springtime in New York had me thinking about the song again. The lines in question are:

I’ll go along with the charade / until I can think my way out.

I’ve seen “Squire of Gothos.” Those words are dialogue, an exchange between Sulu and Kirk.

Well, now I’ve watched Tokyo Joe. I watched it twice, with the captions on. I never heard the lines.

A week later, I watched Sahara, another Bogart vehicle mentioned by writers who have analyzed the song. Again, never heard those lines.

Where does that leave us?

Well, if the lines originate with Star Trek, then Dylan pilfered them from Star Trek. Plain and simple. The dialogue mirrors the lyrics too much for coincidence, and everyone agrees that Dylan was creating pastiche lyrics from many sources in that song–although mostly from Bogart films.

It’s also possible that the lines are from another Bogart movie, one critics haven’t pinned down. After spending $4 a pop to watch two black-and-white minor (very minor) classics, I can’t really do more research. But I can say that the evidence favors Star Trek and the episode’s screenwriter Paul Schneider.

Still from “The Squire of Gothos” from a great entry on gedblog.com
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1 Response to Fact Check: Did Dylan Quote Star Trek?

  1. Pingback: Did Bob Dylan Use Star Trek Dialogue as Lyrics? | Nathaniel Williams

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