Friday, January 17, 2014

the times they are a-changin'

Bob Dylan addressed the temper of the times with the stark and stirring social commentary of his first album of completely original music.  Having been embraced as the voice of his generation by the protest movement with his second album 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' he determined to release an entire album of songs that spoke to the issues of the day.  'The Times They Are A-Changin'' was recorded at Columbia's Studio A in New York City with producer Tom Wilson.  The album features only Bob Dylan on vocals, acoustic guitar, and harmonica.  In an interview with Studs Terkel at the time, Dylan would reflect:     "Nowadays it seems there are more than two sides.  It's not black and white anymore...The road is very hard to find...Maybe sometimes it wish this was nineteen-somethin' else...Seems like there’s a board there, and all the nails are pounded in all over the place, you know? And every new person that comes around to pound in a nail finds that there’s one less space. I hope we haven’t got to the end of the space yet...I'm content with the same ol'piece of wood.  I'd just wanna find a place to pound in the nail...Some people are the nails...This guitar is not sacred...It's just a tool. My life is the street where I walk."  

 'The Times They Are A-Changin'' went to number twenty in the US and number four in the UK.

"The Times They Are a-Changin'" 
was a top ten hit in the UK.  Dylan says:   "I wanted to write a big song, some kind of theme song, with short, concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. This is definitely a song with a purpose. I knew exactly what I wanted to say and who I wanted to say it to ... This was definitely a song with a purpose. It was influenced of course by the Irish and Scottish ballads ...'Come All Ye Bold Highway Men', 'Come All Ye Tender Hearted Maidens'. I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time."

Come gather ’round peopleWherever you roam

And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics

Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers

Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn

The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

The times they are a-changin from Tony Fox on Vimeo.

"Ballad of Hollis Brown"

"With God on Our Side"

"One Too Many Mornings"

"North Country Blues" 

"Only a Pawn in Their Game"

Only A Pawn In Their Game - Bob Dylan by vicky7xthomas

"Boots of Spanish Leather" 

boots of spanish leather from joan baez on Vimeo.

"When the Ship Comes In" 

When the Ship Comes In from Birdwatchr on Vimeo.

"The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"

Bob Dylan - The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll by vicky7xthomas

"Restless Farewell"

Dylan had written and recorded many songs during the sessions.  Here are a few songs that didn't make the album:

 "Percy's Song"

"Lay Down Your Weary Tune"

Lay Down Your Weary Tune, Lay Down - Bob Dylan from Indranil Chakraborty on Vimeo.

"Seven Curses"

excerpt from the liner notes

strokin' my senses

down down
drownin' drownin'
when I need t' drown
for my road is blessed
with many flowers
an' the sounds of flowers
liftin' lost voices of the ground's people
up up
higher higher
all people
no matter what creed
no matter what color skin
no matter what language an' no matter what land
for all people laugh
in the same tongue
an' cry
in the same tongue
endless endless
it's all endless
an' it's all songs
it's just one big world of songs
an' they're all on loan
if they're only turned loose t' sing

lonely? ah yes

but it is the flowers an' the mirrors
of flowers that now meet my
an' mine shall be a strong loneliness
dissolvin' deep
t' the depths of my freedom
an' that, then, shall
remain my song

there's a movie called

Shoot the Piano Player
the last line proclaimin'
"music, man, that's where it's at"
it is a religious line
outside, the chimes rung
an' they
are still ringin'

 'The Times They Are A-Changin''

full album:

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

Side one
1. "The Times They Are a-Changin'"   3:15
2. "Ballad of Hollis Brown"   5:06
3. "With God on Our Side"   7:08
4. "One Too Many Mornings"   2:41
5. "North Country Blues"   4:35
Side two
1. "Only a Pawn in Their Game"   3:33
2. "Boots of Spanish Leather"   4:40
3. "When the Ship Comes In"   3:18
4. "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"   5:48
5. "Restless Farewell"   5:32

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