American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature today ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’.
Following is a sampling of Dylan’s classic lyrics:
* From ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, 1963 How many years can a mountain exist Before it’s washed to the sea? Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist Before they’re allowed to be free? 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 The answer is blowin’ in the wind
* From ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’, 1963 Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son? Who did you meet, my darling young one? I met a young child beside a dead pony, I met a white man who walked a black dog, I met a young woman whose body was burning, I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow, I met one man who was wounded in love, I met another man who was wounded with hatred, And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
* From ‘The Times They Are A-Changin”, 1964 Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land And don’t criticize What you can’t understand Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is rapidly agin’ Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand For the times they are a-changin’
* From ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’, 1965 Disillusioned words like bullets bark As human gods aim for their mark Make everything from toy guns that spark To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark It’s easy to see without looking too far That not much is really sacred
* From ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, 1965 You don’t need a weather man To know which way the wind blows.
* From ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, 1965 When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
* From ‘Lay Lady Lay’, 1969 Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead I long to see you in the morning light I long to reach for you in the night Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
* From ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’, 1973 Mama, put my guns in the ground I can’t shoot them anymore. That long black cloud is comin’ down I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.
* From ‘Shelter from the Storm’, 1974 I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn ‘Come in,’ she said, ‘I’ll give you shelter from the storm’
* From ‘Sara’, 1975 Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp And a piece of an old ship that lies on the shore You always responded when I needed your help You gimme a map and a key to your door Sara, Sara Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow Sara, Sara Don’t ever leave me, don’t ever go
* From ‘Hurricane’, 1975 Rubin Carter was falsely tried The crime was murder ‘one’, guess who testified Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied And the newspapers they all went along for the ride How can the life of such a man Be in the palm of some fool’s hand ? To see him obviously framed Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land Where justice is a game.
* From ‘Blind Willie McTell’, 1983 Well, God is in His heaven And we all want what’s his But power and greed and corruptible seed Seem to be all that there is I’m gazing out the window Of the St. James Hotel And I know no one can sing the blues Like Blind Willie McTell