Monday, May 15, 2023

60 Years of Music • May, 1963 • The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan starts with the front cover itself, a photo that will reflect a generation. Bob with his hip but too thin suede leather jacket for a cold February, 1963 day in New York City, walking in the middle of the street with his bundled up girlfriend, Suze Rotolo in the dirty snow. I just love how they are framed between the building and cars (not to mention the VW Bus that would be a symbol itself of the 1960's.)

This is a 21 year old with his whole life in front of him with most any young person looking at the cover and thinking the same. The photograph is a thoroughly spontaneous moment in time that communicates, you're going to like what's inside.

I of course was an oblivious 8 year old at the time. I can't recall the first time or 25th time I casually heard Blowin' in the Wind on the radio or TV. But, at some point in many a teenager's life since 1963, we let our minds purposely listen to this wonderful song for the first time, and ponder the big questions without any answers, for ourselves.

As an 8 year old, I lived in an household where abstract questions were presented with a singular answer. From my small town church community and parents, the answer wasn't blowing in the wind, it was Jesus Christ. He was the answer. The man who died for our sins so that we could have everlasting life... but with the caveat, only if we accepted him into our life... as our personal savior. Yes, I was told very strongly by the church as a child, that I personally needed saving. And please sit tight, don't ask questions, as we have all the big answers.

Bobby Dylan and his friends come along in the 1960's with their 'Protest Songs,' then, plug in an electric guitar into an amp, and the Billy Graham's suddenly got themselves some serious competition. 

This devil music just wasn't going away, and by the 1970's 'Christian Rock' actually became a thing.

In 1963, all my family, and all my close friends went to church. 

In 2023, none of my siblings, blended family, and close friends go to church. Guess we started asking some questions?

Blowin' in the Wind

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and 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
Yes, and how many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
And how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
And how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

Before I get to the album, here's a clip I love of Bob Dylan singing Blowin' in the Wind with a few friends at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan would make Bob Dylan an international star and singer-songwriter for the ages. Still today, generation after generation of young people discover Bob Dylan for the first time. I could only be so lucky to have a young person hear this album here for the first time. 

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan 

1 comment:

  1. Some days I read your Monday Monday blog and I go "Me too!" Today is one of those days. Thank you! Carry on my friend!


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