Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Blowin’ in the Wind

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ’n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ’n’ 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

I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it’s wrong. I’m only 21 years old and I know that there’s been too many wars… You people over 21 should know better. The first way to answer these questions in the song is by asking them. But lots of people have to first find the wind.
~Bob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Liner Notes – 1963)

The version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” that eventually appeared on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was recorded at this July 9 session. Of all the available performances of this song from 1962 and 1963, this “official” recording is my favorite. It has a presence, a magic, as if Dylan took a deep breath and thought, “Okay, this one’s for posterity.” I don’t think Dylan ever put quite as much of himself into the song again. He didn’t have to. The song itself was in the wind at that point.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist 1960-1973 The Early Years)

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Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Absolutely Sweet Marie





Well, your railroad gate, you know I just can’t jump it
Sometimes it gets so hard, you see
I’m just sitting here beating on my trumpet
With all these promises you left for me
But where are you tonight, sweet Marie?

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Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right





When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin’ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all right

A lot of people make it sort of a love song — slow and easy-going. But it isn’t a love song. It’s a statement that maybe you can say to make yourself feel better. It’s as if you were talking to yourself. It’s a hard song to sing. I can sing it sometimes, but I ain’t that good yet.
-Bob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan – Liner Notes)

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Bob Dylan’s Best Songs: Shelter From The Storm





Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine
If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born
Come in, she said, I’ll give you shelter from the storm

Thank you! This is the story of my life, this next song.
~Bob Dylan (before Shelter From The Storm – Earls Court, London, England – 20 June 1978)

“Shelter from the Storm” on Blood on the Tracks is a beautiful performance-and a very intimate one, relying on the closeness of the studio microphone (picking up subtleties of guitar playing as well as voice) and the passionate commitment of the singer to create a delicate framework of call and response around a tune that would otherwise be rather monotonous in terms of melodic and verbal structure.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

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September 6: Bob Dylan @ Gaslight Café, New York City 1961

gaslight

Gaslight Café
New York City, New York
September 1961

On September 6, 1961, Bob Dylan performed at the Gaslight in New York.

His set also include an appearance by Dave Van Ronk playing guitar and singing harmony vocals on “Car, Car,”.
Some of the songs appeared on the first official Bootleg series set (Vol 1-3). Others have yet to be officially released.

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