July 9: Bob Dylan recorded “Blowin’ In The Wind” in 1962

bob dylan 1962

“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)


Blowin’ in the Wind” is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1962 and released on his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963. Although it has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war and freedom. The refrain “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind” has been described as “impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind”.

In 1994, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, it was ranked #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

bob dylan - the_freewheelin

Recording session:

Studio A
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
9 July 1962
The 3rd Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan session, produced by John Hammond.

  1. Baby, I’m In The Mood For You
  2. Baby, I’m In The Mood For You
  3. Baby, I’m In The Mood For You
  4. Bob Dylan’s Blues
  5. Blowin’ In The Wind
  6. Blowin’ In The Wind
  7. Blowin’ In The Wind
    Released on: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, May 27 1963.
  8. Quit Your Low Down Ways
  9. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance (Henry Thomas/Bob Dylan)
    Released on: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, May 27 1963.
  10. Down The Highway
    Released on: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, May 27 1963.
  11. Worried Blues (Hally Wood)
  12. Worried Blues (Hally Wood)
  13. Baby, I’m In The Mood For You
  14. Bob Dylan’s Blues
  15. Bob Dylan’s Blues
    Released on: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, May 27 1963.


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

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

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ’n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Some Live versions:

Live On TV, March 1963:

Newport Folk Festival – 1963:

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA – Aug 1, 1971:

Live Oslo 2013

Burg Clam (Austria) – 29.06.2014:

2 thoughts on “July 9: Bob Dylan recorded “Blowin’ In The Wind” in 1962”

  1. It was 1962 right before Bobby wrote “Blowin in the Wind” when we had a conversation about “The Death of Emmett Till” which he had just written. I was impressed with his ability to turn righteous anger into compelling poetry. Musically it had a descending scale passage which I really liked. I had recently written a song based on “The Ballad of Billy Budd” which was the story of a condemned man. ( it almost got me a recording contract with Elektra, but there’s another time for that story). I mentioned to Bobby that I would be interested in singing “Emmett Till” and he seemed surprised. We had done an improvisational duet once before of a satirical song we made up on the spot about ” All the beautiful people in their beautiful underwear.” It’s chronicled on pages 108 /109 n Anthony Scaduto’s book “Dylan”. Our Singing styles were so different I didn’t think he would take me seriously but the next day I was the one who was surprised when he handed me a neatly written manuscript of the song. That I never sang it in public was because of an overwhelming response from many quarters that a “Legit” singer had no business singing “Dylan.” Despite my “musical feet of clay” I kept the manuscript for years until it got lost in the dust of a move from the east back to Colorado. Then came “Blowin’ in the Wind” and a continual hurricane of words and music that immediately changed the world of song writing forever. Now that I’m well into my 80s I regret never having sung his songs while in my prime, But perhaps age has given me even more understanding of the genius we saw back in those halcyon days. I include a link to a recent video of “Baby Blue” because of a reference to “Blowin’ in’ the Wind” in the verbal introduction. The song was a first take and a challenge for my old pipes but I think it turned out ok.

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