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The Effects of Music to a Poem

Updated on February 16, 2015

The poem I chose to analyze for the effects of music is “The Times They Are A-Changin” by Bob Dylan. This poem is a great example of closed poetry due to its rhythm that helps it flow so wonderfully. This poem is also an excellent example of lyrical poetry, which was really made to be accompanied with music. The poet uses a lot of realistic and vivid imagery that really helps the reader immerse themselves into the poem. The poem really has the feeling of being a town crier standing in the town square yelling his important message for all to hear. The poem has a strong voice and an urgent tone to it. It is filled with urgency as the voice of the poem is calling for quick action. “Please heed the call…Don’t stand in the doorway….Don’t block the hall…For he that gets hurt….Will be he who has stalled” (243) shows the urgency in the voice of the poem. The poem is talking to everyone to make a change from Congressmen to parents. The poem has not only rhythm but also rhyming which helps keep the readers attention. There is a theme of being open minded and open to change in this poem and it embodies the whole 60’s era. This poem is so representative to the struggles and challenges of that era. This was a time of protest when people where extremely vocal about their beliefs and this poem embodies that. The poem is a success based on its literary merit alone but the addition of music adds a melodious element that really ties everything together.

The poem was a great and excellent poem to read but the music really added so much to it. Listening to the poem as a song was amazing. The music truly made the words flow and helped convey the message of the song. Thru the song the message is clear and listeners can really hear the urgency of the singer. This is a song that would definitely call its audience to action. Everything that is present in the poem as you read it is amplified by the music when you hear it. The singers voice and tone is wonderfully suited to this song and poem. It can really be heard in his voice how strongly he feels about the message he is singing. His voice was overflowing with personality and that really lends itself to the success of the addition of music to the poem.

The interesting thing about this poem is how much its effect is amplified just by the addition of music. The poem itself was an inspiration but by adding music it became inspiring. Anytime that someone is trying to get their message out it is very important to use a method of delivery that is interesting and will hold the attention of your audience and Bob Dylan really does that with this poem and song. The message of this poem really resonates with its readers especially anyone who has every fought for a cause and feels very passionate about their beliefs. Everything really came together here to make this poem a musical success from Bob Dylan’s voice and his intricate detail to the patterns of his poem. Music was an excellent addition to this poem.

Works Cited

Bob, Dylan. “The Times They Are A-Changin” 243-244. ENGL 200: Composition and Literature. America Public University System. New York: McGraw- Hill, 2011.

Bob Dylan



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