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Song of the Week: Blowin’ in the Wind

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At first listen, individuals may perceive his singing as not their ideal standard of a beautiful voice. With his lyrics, songwriter and artist, Bob Dylan, has been able to touch the hearts of people since 1962.

Dylan is well-established for his poetic lyrics. From the words, “Don’t criticize what you don’t understand,” in his 1964 hit, “Times They Are A-Changin,” to the heartbreaking words, “And though our separation. It pierced me to the heart, she still lives inside of me. We’ve never been apart,” in,“If You See Her Say Hello,” Dylan has been able to create pieces that are still relevant today. The emotion that his music brings to people is hard to find among many current artists.

On the 50th anniversary of the song, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Dylan received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama due to his impactful lyricism that still resonates throughout the world today.  In many ways, the words written throughout the piece will continue to draw significance to many cultural and civil problems of today, and for years to come.

The song was released during the 60’s, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War. It utilizes ballads of hope, peace, war and injustice. Although the song is constantly questioning, Dylan never quite provides the answers. Instead, he continuously reminds us that they are just out of grasp, “blowing in the wind.”

One eloquent lyric in the songs states, “How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?” In this, Dylan displays everlasting truth. It seems that we leave too many people behind in our own self-centered quests for happiness. We like to think we’re the only people that matter, and that those who are in need are not ours to save. But Dylan desires that we realize that blinded greed is not the answer.

For me, the significance throughout “Blowin’ In the Wind” is not whether or not the answers are simply there, and that we have not been able to clearly see them as a society, but the hope that they will come. The hope that people one day do not have to question their stance and placement. The hope that the problems that seem to have an impossible answer can be solved. The beauty of this song can be best explained by Dylan himself. In an interview for Sing Out Magazine in 1962, he stated that the answers to the most important questions, “ain’t in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group, man. It’s in the wind.”

Contact the writer, Halle Gordon, at 97hallgord@csdecatur.net 

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

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Song of the Week: Blowin’ in the Wind