Bob Dylan Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1267 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music

Bob Dylan: The Poet and Man

His poetry and song writing define Bob Dylan. He writes songs about protesting and religious themes. It is necessary to consider how the events in his life affected his music. Also Bob Dylan had other musicians that influenced him in his early years. The paragraphs below will explore his background, the times he wrote in and analyze six of his greatest works: "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Blowin in the Wind," "Highway 61 Revisited," "Oxford Town," "The Times They Are a-Changin" and "With God on Our Side."

Biography and Influence

Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941. By the time he was ten years old he was writing poems and had taught himself to play guitar. He later changed his name from Robert Allen Zimmerman to the famous name Bob Dylan. In 1962 Bob visited his big early influence Woodie Guthrie in the hospital. His lost idol was slowly dying of Huntington's disease and Dylan had written him a song called "Song to Woody."

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After high school Dylan found himself playing folk music. This is also the time he began to write his legendary folk songs. In his songs he writes about the "luckless, the abandoned and forsaken," as he put it in "chimes of Freedom." In "Blowing' in the Wind," he created probably his most famous song, though Dylan once stated that he wrote that song just for his friends. In fact, this antiracist, antiwar anthem is in its deepest sense, a subtitle plea for awareness. The lyrics read: "How many times must a man look up / Before he can see the sky? / Yes 'n' how many ears must one man have / before he can hear people cry?" ( Dylan had the characteristics of a biblical prophet, but also he had a sense of humor and irony. One soon started to notice that he was a beginning to write songs that saw the world as consisting not just of heroes and villains but mostly cowardly people caught up in all-to-human situations. With these songs he set out to create personal sound and to join the ranks of the likes of Elvis and Little Richard but even more the music:

Term Paper on Bob Dylan Assignment

had an spiritual side and artistic side "as did the earlier form of Dylan's ambition, the one that resulted in songs and performances like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and "Mr. Tambourine Man," and in his becoming a bigger star as folksinger and songwriter than anyone else would have imagined possible). (Williams, 223-224).

Dylan's Lyrics and Analysis

Mr. Tambourine Man"

This song is about how the world has failed the everyman. The voice of the everyman asks for Mr. Tambourine Man's help in finding peace by singing a song to help him sleep. Dylan using rhyme throughout the work but it is the free verse of his pen that makes this song work on many levels. He paints a grim picture of world's status by describing the everyman's plight in life. He writes, "My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet, I have no one to meet

And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming" ( Using the words ancient and dead creates an image of a desolate, broken place for, which the everyman to pick his pieces. The voice wants Mr. Tambourine Man to take him away from this world. He wants to go beyond the fog and behind the smoke screen to escape his depressing surroundings. Use of such vivid words paints a magical realism and depth to the story. The following is a concrete example of this usage: "Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves, the haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach, Far from the twisted… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Bob Dylan" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Bob Dylan.  (2004, December 12).  Retrieved May 31, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Bob Dylan."  12 December 2004.  Web.  31 May 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Bob Dylan."  December 12, 2004.  Accessed May 31, 2020.