The 9 Most Poetic Songs by Bob Dylan [VIDEOS]

“Every one of them words rang true”

Oct 14, 2016
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Bob Dylan is one of the greats in the history of American music. The gravelly-voiced folk singer has reinvented himself so often over the span of his decades-long career, it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of. To top off his already impressive and amazing career, Dylan has become the first the first musician to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, said it perfectly when the award was given to Dylan: “Bob Dylan writes poetry for the ear. But it’s perfectly fine to read his works as poetry.”

To celebrate Dylan’s achievement, we bring you seven of his most poetic classics, all of which are perfect examples of his amazing ability to play with words.

1. CHIMES OF FREEDOM (1964)

Choice Lyric: "Starry-eyed and laughing as I recall when we were caught / 
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended / 
As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look / 
Spellbound and swallowed ’til the tolling ended."

2. LIKE A ROLLING STONE (1965)

Choice Lyric: "You used to be so amused /
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used /
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse /
When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose /
You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal."

3. TANGLED UP IN BLUE (1975)

Choice Lyric: "Then she opened up a book of poems /
And handed it to me /
Written by an Italian poet /
From the thirteenth century /
And every one of them words rang true /
And glowed like burnin’ coal /
Pourin’ off of every page /
Like it was written in my soul from me to you /
Tangled up in blue."

4. THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN' (1964)

Choice Lyric: "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."

5. I SHALL BE RELEASED (1971)

Choice Lyric: "They say ev’ry man needs protection /
They say ev’ry man must fall /
Yet I swear I see my reflection /
Some place so high above this wall /
I see my light come shining."

6. IT'S ALRIGHT MA (I'M ONLY BLEEDING) (1965)

Choice Lyric: "While preachers preach of evil fates / 
Teachers teach that knowledge waits / 
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates / 
Goodness hides behind its gates / 
But even the president of the United States / 
Sometimes must have to stand naked."

7. JOKERMAN (1983)

Choice lyric: "Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy / 
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers / 
In the smoke of the twilight on a milk-white steed / 
Michelangelo indeed could’ve carved out your features."

8. ONLY A PAWN IN THEIR GAME (1964)

Choice lyric: "The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid /
And the marshals and cops get the same / 
But the poor white man’s used in the hands of them all like a tool."

9. VISIONS OF JOHANNA (1966)

Choice lyric: "Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial / 
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while / 
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues /
you can tell by the way she smiles."

DAVID RUHM, EDITOR IN CHIEF
David has a passion for languages and words, and loves to see people happy. He writes about inspiring ideas, amazing technologies and all the wonders of the world.

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