Bob Dylan’s ode to Wisconsin now has music to it.
Dylan wrote the song in his early 20s while he lived in Wisconsin. He made a mention of Wauwatosa even though there’s no record of his ever visiting there. But it rhymes with “toaster” — sort of — and nothing screams Wisconsin like its famous toasters.
Dylan didn’t include a chorus so Milwaukee-area musician Trapper Schoepp added his own. He also borrowed from the state’s theme song “On Wisconsin.”
“To me, folk music is all about moving forward,” Schoepp tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, noting the tradition in folk music, including in Dylan’s work, of songwriters incorporating the work of others into their new songs. “So it seemed to be appropriate to be doing this with Dylan’s lyrics — extending the line.”
Schoepp and his bandmates recorded the song on Sunday. It receives its radio premier on a Milwaukee radio station this afternoon.
Today, by the way, is “Milwaukee Day.”