This sounds too strange to be true, but it is.

Bob Dylan has a new album coming out on September 11th called "Tempest" . . . and the title track is a 14-minute song about the sinking of the Titanic.  Even better, it name-checks Leonardo DiCaprio, who of course starred in the movie.

So did the song come pouring out of Bob after he left a 3-D screening of "Titanic" earlier this year?  No.  But that would have been AWESOME.

Bob says he was inspired by an old folk song called "The Titanic" by the Carter Family, who were recording songs in the '30s and '40s.

He says, quote, "I was just fooling with that one night.  I liked that melody . . . [I thought] 'maybe I'm gonna appropriate this melody.'  But where would I go with it?"

Bob adds that the movie was in his mind as he was writing the song . . . quote, "Yeah, Leo.  I don't think the song would be the same without him.  Or the movie."

He didn't elaborate, so it's unclear how Bob references Leo . . . or if he was just playing around.  But we have no reason NOT to take his words at face value.

Unfortunately, Bob's Titanic song hasn't been released yet . . . but you can listen to the Carter Family's song "The Titanic" on their MySpace page.  It's #22, so scroll down a little.  Yes . . . the Carter Family has a MySpace page!

Bob has a lot of epic tracks . . . including "Highlands", which is 16 minutes long, five minutes longer than it takes the world to end in his song "Desolation Row".  And of course there's "Hurricane", which is over eight minutes long.

Personally, I'd love if Bob's "Titanic" song was the "Hurricane" of the 21st century, but I'd settle for a good story with a line about Leo drawing Kate Winslet naked.