The Times They Are-A-Changin / Bob Dylan

Essay by Luke Foster

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan was born in 1941 and is an American singer-songwriter and is often regarded as one of the greatest song writers of all time.

Songs such as “Blowin in the Wind’ and “The Times Are a-Changin” became anthems for the civil rights and antiwar movements.

He became the voice of the 1960’s counterculture movement.

In 2016 he was the first song writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

I got back from travelling in Europe two weeks ago and while in Rome saw a Bob Dylan retrospective mainly of his visual art. I was amazed and shocked as I didn’t know that Dylan was an accomplished visual artist as I was only familiar with his music.

Terrible photo but some of Dylan’s paintings as seen in the retrospective in Rome

“Yesterday’s just a memory, tomorrow is never what it’s supposed to be.” Bob Dylan

I think Dylan’s never had to have a day job and wrote anthems live “Blowin in the Wind” and the “Times Are a Changin” when he was very young.

“How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind”

Lyriics for Blowin in the Wind

I wish I had my collection of Bob Dylan CDs to listen to now but unfortunately, they are all in storage.

Photo of Dylan in the 60s

I first heard about Dylan and his music through my interest in the Beat Generation and particularly Jack Kerouac the author and Allen Ginsberg the poet. Apparently, his lyrics were deeply influenced by their writing styles and content. I was reading lots of beat writing during my first two years of art school in Sydney.

“The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction.” Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg and his most famous poem was Howl