Hey Mr Tambourine Man

To coincide with the release of the album (Chimes of Freedom:The songs of Bob Dylan) as produced by Amnesty International, today’s post is on the man; the legend himself. While he may be a song writer to some, to most he remains a lyrical genius so it is perfectly just that I can afford to ramble on here about the music and the artist that has inspired a cultural legacy evidenced by the sheer range of differing artists and ages and renditions of Dylans originals on this album. Even as a kid, I was known to have a slightly dubious taste in music, when most of my peers were rocking out to Hanson and the Spice Girls, I was sequestered in my room listening to a broken down recording of Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man, which to this day remains one of my favourite songs, and possibly one of my parents least favourites due to the ear splitting decibels I used to play it at over and over again. I still believe that I was definately born in the wrong generation, I have an affiliation for all the old masters, Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, … Donovan. Okay the last name on that list is a little embarassing but I have promised myself  that I will stick to a harsh regime of no censorship on this blog. An argument that still rages in certain ‘establishments’ is whether Dylan can be classified as a songwriter or a ‘poet’? When Dylan himself was asked this very question  at a press conference in 1965, he famously responded “I see myself as more of a song and dance sort of man”. I think that while much of his work can indeed be classed as poetry (indeed he even has his own dedicated page within the Poetry Foundation’s web page ttp://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/bob-dylan) it is only when the words combine with his renowned ‘barbed wire’ voice that these works of art are endowed with a poignancy and power that goes beyond words on a page.  There is no ‘pretense’ to Dylan, he is who he is, absolutely no apologies. Today’ s music scene is characterised by absolute artifice and fake personas, name dropping, derogatory slang “Bitches and hoe’s be everywhere” and romance is characterised as Rihanna going back to her abusive ex Chris Brown,who together have coined such musical ‘genius’ as the popular tune ‘Birthday Cake’

Its not even my birthday (my birthday) But he wanna lick the icing off (the icing off) He want that cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake Oo baby your so excited dont try to hide it ima make you my b-tch cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake cake (Wonderful isn’t it?)

Evidently there is a need to go back to more simple times, where music was unadorned, no frills and foot-stompingly good. Where lyrics actually meant something, where songwriting collided with civil/human rights movements/ environmental activism and artists actually stood for something.In 2008 (a long time coming in my opinion) Dylan was awarded  a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical composition of extraordinary poetic power.” The collection of these Dylan covers has thus renewed my hope for the musical future of this new generation, with names like Miley Cyrus and Kesha contributing to this album, it is bound to bring optimistic new followers to the the music of Dylan and perhaps even reinvigorate it because it is true, as it always has been “The times they are a changing”


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