Growing up, my dad was always playing all sorts of music that expanded over many different decades; everything from the fifties through the nineties. I grew up listening to a diverse pool of music such as doo-wop, rock, country, folk, and more. When I think of folk music, I think back to the sixties. Times of war, civil rights, JFK, the space race, the hippie movement, and much more. The music that came out of the sixties clearly reflects the events happening at the time and Bob Dylan perfectly captures the essence of sixties through his thoughtful and passionate lyrics. Dylan is widely recognized for his lyrics and has been an inspiration for many artists such as The Beatles. According to Rolling Stone, Dylan is the number 1 songwriter of all time. Dylan also rightfully landed a spot in the Rock Hall of Fame. Every song of Dylan’s has a message and if you read the lyrics, they are pure poetry. Many find that Dylan’s voice is a bit harsh to listen to, but I feel that his voice makes his music more authentic. It shows that a man who was passionate about certain political and social issues decided to write about the problems in the country and sang about them while playing a guitar and his harmonica. There is a passion in Dylan’s voice that not all artists capture and you can truly feel the passion when really listening to what the words are saying. There are no bad Dylan songs out there. Each one has its own personal message that wants to be shared with the world. Some powerful songs that come to mind now are “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall”, “Like A Rolling Stone”, “The Times They Are a Changing”, “Hurricane”, and “Blowing in the Wind”. Each one these songs contains a message beautifully crafted by Dylan and the messages do not only tell us to be more understanding, but they teach us life lessons as well. Being a history minor and music lover, I find it fascinating how music reflects the times. Dylan captures the times perfectly and his lyrics can very well be applied to today. If you read or watch the news or see on social media, events within the past few years show turmoil in our country and others. History repeats itself, just in different ways, and the themes and messages from Dylan’s music can be applied once again, especially with the political division currently in the country. Honestly, no matter what party you identify with or how you feel about certain issues in the world or country, everyone should take a deep breath and listen to Bob Dylan or any folk/folk rock artist from the sixties. Listen to what is being said, get lost in the lyrics and things will be better for a little while. With a fast paced and continuously advancing world, we should all take a step back and listen to the music. After all, the times truly are a changing.
Source: Rolling Stone