The news of Bob Dylan getting the Nobel Prize for Literature was one of the best news coming my way in a long time. For those of us who were young and impressionable in the sixties Bob Dylan was an intrinsic part of our lives.
I write this slightly personal note today as I want young people to know how deeply we were influenced by song and poetry and how important it was to us. Let us call it serendipity, but a few hours before I heard the news I was telling a young man how ‘dating’ in our time meant sitting in a park reading poetry or singing Dylan songs. In those days music was heard on turntables and the more you liked a record, the more scratched it became but who cared. Those vinyls in their soon tattered covers were our prize possessions.
Dylan was more than a song to listen. His poignant and hard hitting words use to lead to heated debates that moulded our pliable minds and the adults we became were definitely influenced by this incredible poet.
What is amazing though is that hearing his words today, half a century later are still as meaningful as they were then.
In those days we believed we could remake the world into a happy and peaceful and it was the age of the flower children and the hippies on a soul journey. That did not happen.
Today the world is the antithesis of what we had dreamt. And never before have Dylan’s words rung more true.
Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and 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
Bob Dylan 1963