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Bob Dylan - His Music, Lyrics & Poetry

Updated on March 4, 2013

"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do." - Bob Dylan

"Dylan was born in Duluth, on May 24, 1941 and grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, a mining town near the Canadian border. "You can stand at one end of Hibbing on the main drag an' see clear past the city limits on the other end," Dylan once noted in a poem, "My Life in a Stolen Moment," printed in the program of a 1963 Town Hall concert he gave. Like Dylan's parents, it appears, the town was neither rich nor poor, but it was, Dylan has said, "a dyin' town."

Dylan ran away from home 7 times: at 10, at 12, at 13, at 15, at 15 and a half, at 17 and at 18. His travels included South Dakota, New Mexico, Kansas and California. In between fights, he taught himself the guitar, which he had begun playing at the age of 10. At 15, he was also playing the harmonica and the autoharp, and in addition, had written his first song, a ballad dedicated to Brigitte Bardot. In the spring of 1960, Dylan entered the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, which he attended for something under six months".

Extract from p.20 Dylan on Dylan

Great version of "Love minus zero/no limit"
intimate good acoustic version like in his mid 60's performances

The best line in this song is one of the best eg. of Dylanist imagery:

"My love she's like some raven
At my window with a broken wing"


Bob Dylan - his first album - bluesy roots here

"Song to Woody" is one of his best pieces of poetry.

Best verse:
"Hey, hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song
'Bout a funny ol' world that's a-comin' along.
Seems sick an' it's hungry, it's tired an' it's torn,
It looks like it's a-dyin' an' it's hardly been born."

All I can say is such poetry is timeless.


Nashville Skyline - good laid back country feel.
Bob's voice was not too bad on this album. Very smooth.

"Lay Lady Lay" - what a great song and sound
"Girl from the North Country" with Johnny Cash


Bob Dyan - The 30th Anniversay Concert Celebration.

Which other artist in history has been given this honour by his fellow artists who happen to be the musical cream of the crop in our lifetime?


Blood on the Tracks - One of his best

The songs are all excellent on this album. It's the only album I can honestly say this about. Most of my favourite songs are on here:

Tangled up in Blue
Simple Twist of Fate
Idiot Wind
- the most vicious of all his songs

Shelter from the Storm - Oh god what a concept!

"I offered up my innocence,
I got repaid with scorn,
Come in she said I'll give ya,
Shelter from the Storm".


One could never cover the subject matter which is Bob Dylan. It would take a lifetime. Suffice to say that I love many of his albums and do admit that some are better than others. That's why I like the Greatest Hits Vol 3 and the Masterpiece set. They contain the best versions of his songs.


"Everybody has to find his own way to be free. There isn't anybody who can help you in that sense. Nobody was able to help me. Like seeing Woody Guthrie was one of the main reasons I came East. He was an idol to me. A couple of years ago, after I'd gotten to know him, I was going through some very bd changes and I went to see Woody, like I'd go to somebody to confess to. But I couldn't confess to him. It was silly. I did go and talk to with him - as much as he could talk - and the talking helped. But basically he wasn't able to help me at all. I finally realized that. So Woody was my last idol."

p.25 Dylan on Dylan

When Bob Dylan (formerly Robert Zimmerman) arrived in New York from Minnesota in 1960, he was little more than the latest in the line of Woody Guthrie imitators.
At the Newport Folk Festival in the summer of 1965, Dylan made history when he unveiled a new, electric approach, appearing onstage with members of the highly amplified Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Folk purists were enraged that Dylan had "sold out" to commercial rock & roll.

"Money doesn't talk, it swears."  - Bob Dylan


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    • scrittobene profile image

      Maria D'Alessandro 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Then you would win your bet for sure because it's true. xo

    • profile image

      tbalunis 5 years ago

      Dear Scrittobene, I am willing to bet money that I am your biggest fan.

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 5 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Insightful hub on a true musical icon! Your love and passion for Dylan's music is clearly evident.

    • scrittobene profile image

      Maria D'Alessandro 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Vincent, I was born in 1962 and came to know Dylan 28 years later. A late fan I guess but no less dedicated. In the 60's here in Australia Dylan was never mainstream and the only people who knew of his existence were University students who somehow were able to get a vinyl import of Dylan's first hit songs. From the College campuses there emerged the odd folk singer who would cover a couple of Dylan songs in cafes and thus began the awareness of Dylan mainly among the Australian youth and/or hippies of the day. He has always been a cult figure here. I sometimes hear some songs on the radio like "Hurricane" but not often. Typically, when I tell someone I'm a Dylan Freak - they have no idea who Dylan is. I was guilty of that myself until I was 28 and if you're interested in how I came to know Dylan, please read my Hub "He's Just A Song & Dance Man". I have 534 Facebook friends and most of them are Dylan fans from America and Europe - only a handful of fans from Australia. So if you love Dylan, I hope you enjoy my Facebook page which often features all things Dylanesque.

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 5 years ago

      Bob Dylan was a prolific writer. I grew up in the sixties and listened to his music often. I hung out in coffee shops, basically I was a hippy back then,long hair, tye dye tees, peace symbols on my clothing and a bag of weed to feed my mind.

      Bobby was a classic kindred spirit for all of us back then, so were the Beatles, Stones and Jim Morrison. You have chosen a man of my time to scribe about here and a great choice it is. I am a big fan of his music and always have been.

    • scrittobene profile image

      Maria D'Alessandro 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Many thanks Michael. I will do what you ask but you need to send me a photo of you first for inspiration. LOLOLOLOLOL Just kidding.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      Maria, the beautiful Dylan freak

      the words you write are so unique

      only equaled by your sweet

      words of prose that are so neat

      please just say you will write to me

      of a dream that could only be

      like a song that is so right

      that Dylan would be singing as i hold you tight

      Together lyrics we will write

      like dylan and his muse at night

      singing and having so much fun

      just say to me this can be done.

      Love ya,


    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      If you see her, say hello

      Maria graceful with halo

      glad to know her and bide my time

      she makes my life a poetic rhyme!