September 5: Bob Dylan performing a powerful “Go Down, Moses” in Tel Aviv 1987

And the final encore at Tel Aviv was a heartfelt performance of the old American spiritual, “Go Down, Moses”: “When Israel was in Egypt land (let my people go), oppressed so hard that they could not stand (let my people go). Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt land, tell old Pharoah, let my people go.” It’s a powerful reading of a song Dylan never sang publicly before. And quite typical ofBob Dylan, though born a Jew, to identify keenly with the people of Israel as seen (and portrayed romantically) by black American songmakers … and for him to choose to honor the people of Israel, at his first concert in that nation, by singing this song. (“That’s my religion. The songs are my lexicon. I believe the songs.”) .. “Go Down, Moses” is certainly the high point of the Tel Aviv show.
-> Paul Williams (Performing artist 1986 & beyond)

“Go Down Moses” is an American Negro spiritual. It describes events in the Old Testament of the Bible, specifically Exodus 8:1: “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me”, in which God commands Moses to demand the release of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.
-> wikipedia

Hayarkon Park
Tel-Aviv, Israel
5 September 1987

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar) with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
  • Tom Petty (guitar)
  • Mike Campbell (guitar)
  • Benmont Tench (keyboards)
  • Howie Epstein (bass)
  • Stan Lynch (drums)
  • The Queens Of Rhythm: Carolyn Dennis, Queen Esther Marrow, Madelyn Quebec (backing vocals)

Go down Moses way down in Egypt land
Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go

When Israel was in Egypt land
Let My people go
Oppressed so hard they could not stand
Let My people go

So the God seyeth, “Go down, Moses way down in Egypt land
Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go”

So Moses went to Egypt land
Let My people go
He made all Pharaohs understand
Let My people go

Yes The Lord said, “Go down, Moses way down in Egypt land
Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go”

Thus spoke the Lord, bold Moses said
Let My people go
“If not I’ll smite, your firstborns dead”
Let My people go

God, The Lord said, “Go down, Moses way down in Egypt land
Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go”

Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go

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