Which of Bob Dylan’s songs are most-quoted in American courtrooms? “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” of course. “Keep a clean nose. Watch the plain clothes. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” A professor in Tennessee decided to look for popular song snippets among court documents:
Alex Long: California court of appeals cites that line quite a bit in their opinions, to the point now that it’s almost boilerplate. It comes up when in the course of a trial, you need to introduce evidence. Sometimes, that evidence is complicated. Scientific evidence can be difficult for the jury to understand, and sometimes, you need the expert testimony who can explain it to the jurors. But sometimes, you don’t need the expert testimony, and so the California court has said, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
NPR’s report can be read or heard here.