Favourite Songs of Bob Dylan

In May 1966, my editor sent me to interview Bob Dylan in the Mayfair Hotel in London. There were about 15 reporters in the room. You can see a clip filmed in the hotel room in the Dylan documentary of the 1966 tour “Eat the Document” on You Tube. I still have the cutting in my scrapbook. I recall it wasn’t easy.Dylan said less than nothing, totally uninterested in the media. Bless him. I liked his utter indifference. I regard Dylan as the great poet/songwriter of our time. There is Bob Dylan and The Beatles – the two true Gods of contemporary music in the last 50 years.

Here are my favourite Bob Dylan songs, the name of the album, a line or two of appreciation (in capital letters) and a few lines from the song. You can find clips of Dylan singing most of the songs on You Tube.

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall (1963)

Album: From the Freewheelin Bob Dylan

A SONG OF PROFOUND PROPHECY.

“Where the people are many and their hands are all empty

Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters

Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison

Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden”

Angelina (1981)

Bob Dylan Bootleg Series 1-3

TAKE RISKS AND DIVE INTO POLITICAL, SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

“Do I need your permission to turn the other cheek?

If you can read my mind, why must I speak?

No, I have heard nothing about the man that you seek?”

Blowing in the Wind (1962)

Freewheeling Bob Dylan

TRULY THE GLOBAL ANTHEM. FOR ALL THOSE WHO DEFY WAR. AN INVITATION FOR HUMANITY TO WAKE UP BUT NEVER KNOWING IF OR WHEN IT WILL HAPPEN

“Yes n how many years can some people exist

Yes n how many times can a man turn his head

Pretending he just doesn’t see

The answer my friend is blowin in the wind.”

Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright (1963)

The Freewheelin Bob Dylan

WHEN A PARTNER WANTS MORE THAN ONE CAN OFFER. DYLAN WANTS LISTENERS TO USE THE TITLE OF THE SONG TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT OURSELVES.

“I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul.”

Forever Young (1973)

Planet Waves

DYLAN SINGS THIS SONG WITH A RARE DEPTH OF LOVING KINDNESS AND TENDERNESS. HEART-OPENING.

A SONG WITH EXCEPTIONAL EMOTIONAL SENSITIVITY. MUCH LOVED WHEN HE SINGS IT ON STAGE.

“May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you.”

Gates of Eden (1965)

Bringing it all back home

THE EXTRAORDINARY LYRICS ARE A STATEMENT ON THE RELATIVE AND ULTIMATE TRUTH. To what Did Dylan realise that? THE PENULTIMATE LAST VERSE SAYS IT ALL.

“At times I think there are no words

But these to tell what’s true

And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden.”

I Shall Be Released (1970)

The Basement Tapes

A SONG OF IMPENDING LIBERATION

I see my light come shining

From the west unto the east

Any day now, any day now

I shall be released

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (1965)

Bringing it all back home

AS THE TITLE STATES, SO GO START ANEW.

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you

Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you

The vagabond who is knocking at your door

Is standing in the clothes you once wore.

Like a Rolling Stone (1965)

Highway 61 Revisited

SIX MINUTES OF REALISING ONE’S NON-SPECIALNESS AND REMINDING US THAT WHEN WE HAVE NOTHING WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be without a home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone

Mississippi (2001)

Love and Theft

NOTHING IS WORTH CLINGING TO

Every step of the way we walk the line

Your days are numbered so are mine

Time is piling up, we struggle and we scrape

We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escape.

Mr Tambourine Man (1965)

Bringing it all back home

A BEAUTIFUL REMINDER TO FOLLOW THE MUSIC OF OUR LIFE AND ALL THAT GOES WITH IT.

“Then take me disappearin through the smoke rings of my mind

Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves

The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach

Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.”

Shelter from the Storm (1974)

Blood on the tracks

WE NEED TO TAKE REFUGE. IT COULD BE INTO THE ARMS OF A WOMAN.

“But nothing really matters much, it’s doom alone that counts

And the one eyed undertaker, he blows a long-forgotten horn

“Come in” she said “”I’ll give you shelter from the storm.””

Simple Twist of Fate (1974)

Blood on the Tracks

The tingle in the bones at first contact on the park bench didn’t lead anywhere.

People tell me it’s a sin

To know and feel too much within

I still believe she was my twin, but I lost the ring

She was born in spring, but I was born too late

Blame it on a single twist of fate.

The Times they are Changing (1964)

The Times they are Changing

A SONG THAT TRULY BELONGS TO ANY ERA, INCLUDING THE CURRENT ONE.

There’s a battle outside and it is ragin
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls

For the times they are changin’

THANK YOU BOB.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE POETRY OF LIFE IS IMMEASURABLE