Bob Dylan Nobel Laureate

Bob Dylan Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan
Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it; hope I don’t blow it. (I Shall Be Free No. 10, Bob Dylan, 1964)

When I read the breaking news last night about Bob Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, I said, “What?” Despite everything, I realised, I too had (unconsciously) pigeon-holed him unfairly, despite having a full collection of all his books and music. )

My first ‘rock ‘n roll’ awakening was when a cousin introduced me to Jailhouse Rock in 1957. Then, the Beatles erupted in 1963/64. Buried somewhere in the mix was a popular camp fire song, Blowing in the Wind. How many roads must a man walk down, Before you call him a man? (Blowing in the Wind, 1962))

It was, like, wow! Who wrote that? (He was 21when he did. I was 15 when I heard it.) )

The sixties were crazy; thousands and thousands of songs from hundreds of performers jostled for space on the airwaves. Bob Dylan got buried in there somewhere because there was always something or someone ‘new’. It took a decade (or two) for most of the rest to become part of the backdrop collage I still listen to many of them on and off but, for me, three acts stand out. I still listen everyday (yes, every single day) to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. (They are in my ‘car’ playlist.) )

There’s a lot of bitching going on on the internet about the award. “He is only a pop singer,” say some. Only a musician. A singer. Really? I never thought of him as that; certainly not a singer! He was a balladeer; a troubadour. He told stories. He was a storyteller, as are all writers. And like all good writers he raised (in me, at least) a consciousness. Maybe, I only heard what I wanted to hear. I felt a lump in my throat the first time I heard: )

But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’(A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, 1962))

It was the consciousness thing. Again. )

“There are many other deserving novelists,” another post said. Again, really? Who? In the Anglophone world where creativity appears to have come to a grinding halt; the big publishers want their next big thing to be just like the last big thing, and cannot think beyond that. They have had to drag JK Rowling out of retirement to try to save their hide. Outside, in the rest of the world, there are a few novelists of note. Milan Kundera is a perennial suspect. As for Murakami, many (in the establishment) consider him to be too ‘pop’. )

Anolder friend (who plays the violin) once told me that he found classical music to be consciousness raising, made him more aware and a better person. “What does pop music do, make you a better ape?” I was offended like mad by the remark, and didn’t see him much after that. Still, I thought about it. I had to grudgingly agree that most pop music appeals to the unconscious. It’s about numbing the mind, about being elsewhere, about chilling out. There are times when I like to do that, and want to do that. But at other times, I want something that makes me think. )

Good books, to me at least, have always been about ideas, and lines that make me pause and think, that I’d like to make my own. Many have been stuck in my brain for decades. )

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” (A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens.))

I was 16 when I read that. Bob Dylan was not always about obscure lyrics; he wrote wonderful love songs too, though seldom the “feel good” type. )

Goodbye's too good a word, babe, so I'll just say fare thee well (Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right, 1963) Whoa! Who was he talking to?! Who deserved such a goodbye? And, sometimes, he made you wince: )

She might think that I've forgotten her, don't tell her it isn't so. (If You See Her, Say Hello, 1976))

Bob Dylan came to me as an adolescent, and he lives with me still. Like a good book, I read (well listen) to him over and over and constantly come across new lines I want to keep. Despite listening and trying to interpret every song he ever wrote, I still don’t get some of them. (Maybe, there is nothing to get!) Some are difficult to understand, though beautiful: )

Crimson flames tied through my ears; Rolling high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads; Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I; Proud beneath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now (My Back Pages,1964)


Some messages are clearer: )

But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked (It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding, 1964) Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it; hope I don’t blow it. (I Shall Be Free No. 10, Bob Dylan, 1964)

When I read the breaking news last night about Bob Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, I said, “What?” Despite everything, I realised, I too had (unconsciously) pigeon-holed him unfairly, despite having a full collection of all his books and music. )

My first ‘rock ‘n roll’ awakening was when a cousin introduced me to Jailhouse Rock in 1957. Then, the Beatles erupted in 1963/64. Buried somewhere in the mix was a popular camp fire song, Blowing in the Wind. How many roads must a man walk down, Before you call him a man? (Blowing in the Wind, 1962))

It was, like, wow! Who wrote that? (He was 21when he did. I was 15 when I heard it.) )

The sixties were crazy; thousands and thousands of songs from hundreds of performers jostled for space on the airwaves. Bob Dylan got buried in there somewhere because there was always something or someone ‘new’. It took a decade (or two) for most of the rest to become part of the backdrop collage I still listen to many of them on and off but, for me, three acts stand out. I still listen everyday (yes, every single day) to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. (They are in my ‘car’ playlist.) )

There’s a lot of bitching going on on the internet about the award. “He is only a pop singer,” say some. Only a musician. A singer. Really? I never thought of him as that; certainly not a singer! He was a balladeer; a troubadour. He told stories. He was a storyteller, as are all writers. And like all good writers he raised (in me, at least) a consciousness. Maybe, I only heard what I wanted to hear. I felt a lump in my throat the first time I heard: )

But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’(A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, 1962))

It was the consciousness thing. Again. )

“There are many other deserving novelists,” another post said. Again, really? Who? In the Anglophone world where creativity appears to have come to a grinding halt; the big publishers want their next big thing to be just like the last big thing, and cannot think beyond that. They have had to drag JK Rowling out of retirement to try to save their hide. Outside, in the rest of the world, there are a few novelists of note. Milan Kundera is a perennial suspect. As for Murakami, many (in the establishment) consider him to be too ‘pop’. )

Anolder friend (who plays the violin) once told me that he found classical music to be consciousness raising, made him more aware and a better person. “What does pop music do, make you a better ape?” I was offended like mad by the remark, and didn’t see him much after that. Still, I thought about it. I had to grudgingly agree that most pop music appeals to the unconscious. It’s about numbing the mind, about being elsewhere, about chilling out. There are times when I like to do that, and want to do that. But at other times, I want something that makes me think. )

Good books, to me at least, have always been about ideas, and lines that make me pause and think, that I’d like to make my own. Many have been stuck in my brain for decades. )

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” (A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens.))

I was 16 when I read that. Bob Dylan was not always about obscure lyrics; he wrote wonderful love songs too, though seldom the “feel good” type. )

Goodbye's too good a word, babe, so I'll just say fare thee well (Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right, 1963) Whoa! Who was he talking to?! Who deserved such a goodbye? And, sometimes, he made you wince: )

She might think that I've forgotten her, don't tell her it isn't so. (If You See Her, Say Hello, 1976))

Bob Dylan came to me as an adolescent, and he lives with me still. Like a good book, I read (well listen) to him over and over and constantly come across new lines I want to keep. Despite listening and trying to interpret every song he ever wrote, I still don’t get some of them. (Maybe, there is nothing to get!) Some are difficult to understand, though beautiful: )

Crimson flames tied through my ears; Rolling high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads; Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I; Proud beneath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now (My Back Pages,1964)


Some messages are clearer: )

But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked (It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding, 1964) Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it; hope I don’t blow it. (I Shall Be Free No. 10, Bob Dylan, 1964)

When I read the breaking news last night about Bob Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, I said, “What?” Despite everything, I realised, I too had (unconsciously) pigeon-holed him unfairly, despite having a full collection of all his books and music. )

My first ‘rock ‘n roll’ awakening was when a cousin introduced me to Jailhouse Rock in 1957. Then, the Beatles erupted in 1963/64. Buried somewhere in the mix was a popular camp fire song, Blowing in the Wind. How many roads must a man walk down, Before you call him a man? (Blowing in the Wind, 1962))

It was, like, wow! Who wrote that? (He was 21when he did. I was 15 when I heard it.) )

The sixties were crazy; thousands and thousands of songs from hundreds of performers jostled for space on the airwaves. Bob Dylan got buried in there somewhere because there was always something or someone ‘new’. It took a decade (or two) for most of the rest to become part of the backdrop collage I still listen to many of them on and off but, for me, three acts stand out. I still listen everyday (yes, every single day) to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. (They are in my ‘car’ playlist.) )

There’s a lot of bitching going on on the internet about the award. “He is only a pop singer,” say some. Only a musician. A singer. Really? I never thought of him as that; certainly not a singer! He was a balladeer; a troubadour. He told stories. He was a storyteller, as are all writers. And like all good writers he raised (in me, at least) a consciousness. Maybe, I only heard what I wanted to hear. I felt a lump in my throat the first time I heard: )

But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’(A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, 1962))

It was the consciousness thing. Again. )

“There are many other deserving novelists,” another post said. Again, really? Who? In the Anglophone world where creativity appears to have come to a grinding halt; the big publishers want their next big thing to be just like the last big thing, and cannot think beyond that. They have had to drag JK Rowling out of retirement to try to save their hide. Outside, in the rest of the world, there are a few novelists of note. Milan Kundera is a perennial suspect. As for Murakami, many (in the establishment) consider him to be too ‘pop’. )

Anolder friend (who plays the violin) once told me that he found classical music to be consciousness raising, made him more aware and a better person. “What does pop music do, make you a better ape?” I was offended like mad by the remark, and didn’t see him much after that. Still, I thought about it. I had to grudgingly agree that most pop music appeals to the unconscious. It’s about numbing the mind, about being elsewhere, about chilling out. There are times when I like to do that, and want to do that. But at other times, I want something that makes me think. )

Good books, to me at least, have always been about ideas, and lines that make me pause and think, that I’d like to make my own. Many have been stuck in my brain for decades. )

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” (A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens.))

I was 16 when I read that. Bob Dylan was not always about obscure lyrics; he wrote wonderful love songs too, though seldom the “feel good” type. )

Goodbye's too good a word, babe, so I'll just say fare thee well (Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right, 1963) Whoa! Who was he talking to?! Who deserved such a goodbye? And, sometimes, he made you wince: )

She might think that I've forgotten her, don't tell her it isn't so. (If You See Her, Say Hello, 1976))

Bob Dylan came to me as an adolescent, and he lives with me still. Like a good book, I read (well listen) to him over and over and constantly come across new lines I want to keep. Despite listening and trying to interpret every song he ever wrote, I still don’t get some of them. (Maybe, there is nothing to get!) Some are difficult to understand, though beautiful: )

Crimson flames tied through my ears; Rolling high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads; Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I; Proud beneath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now (My Back Pages,1964)


Some messages are clearer: )

But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked (It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding, 1964) Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it; hope I don’t blow it. (I Shall Be Free No. 10, Bob Dylan, 1964)

When I read the breaking news last night about Bob Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, I said, “What?” Despite everything, I realised, I too had (unconsciously) pigeon-holed him unfairly, despite having a full collection of all his books and music. )

My first ‘rock ‘n roll’ awakening was when a cousin introduced me to Jailhouse Rock in 1957. Then, the Beatles erupted in 1963/64. Buried somewhere in the mix was a popular camp fire song, Blowing in the Wind. How many roads must a man walk down, Before you call him a man? (Blowing in the Wind, 1962))

It was, like, wow! Who wrote that? (He was 21when he did. I was 15 when I heard it.) )

The sixties were crazy; thousands and thousands of songs from hundreds of performers jostled for space on the airwaves. Bob Dylan got buried in there somewhere because there was always something or someone ‘new’. It took a decade (or two) for most of the rest to become part of the backdrop collage I still listen to many of them on and off but, for me, three acts stand out. I still listen everyday (yes, every single day) to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. (They are in my ‘car’ playlist.) )

There’s a lot of bitching going on on the internet about the award. “He is only a pop singer,” say some. Only a musician. A singer. Really? I never thought of him as that; certainly not a singer! He was a balladeer; a troubadour. He told stories. He was a storyteller, as are all writers. And like all good writers he raised (in me, at least) a consciousness. Maybe, I only heard what I wanted to hear. I felt a lump in my throat the first time I heard: )

But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’(A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, 1962))

It was the consciousness thing. Again. )

“There are many other deserving novelists,” another post said. Again, really? Who? In the Anglophone world where creativity appears to have come to a grinding halt; the big publishers want their next big thing to be just like the last big thing, and cannot think beyond that. They have had to drag JK Rowling out of retirement to try to save their hide. Outside, in the rest of the world, there are a few novelists of note. Milan Kundera is a perennial suspect. As for Murakami, many (in the establishment) consider him to be too ‘pop’. )

Anolder friend (who plays the violin) once told me that he found classical music to be consciousness raising, made him more aware and a better person. “What does pop music do, make you a better ape?” I was offended like mad by the remark, and didn’t see him much after that. Still, I thought about it. I had to grudgingly agree that most pop music appeals to the unconscious. It’s about numbing the mind, about being elsewhere, about chilling out. There are times when I like to do that, and want to do that. But at other times, I want something that makes me think. )

Good books, to me at least, have always been about ideas, and lines that make me pause and think, that I’d like to make my own. Many have been stuck in my brain for decades. )

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” (A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens.))

I was 16 when I read that. Bob Dylan was not always about obscure lyrics; he wrote wonderful love songs too, though seldom the “feel good” type. )

Goodbye's too good a word, babe, so I'll just say fare thee well (Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right, 1963) Whoa! Who was he talking to?! Who deserved such a goodbye? And, sometimes, he made you wince: )

She might think that I've forgotten her, don't tell her it isn't so. (If You See Her, Say Hello, 1976))

Bob Dylan came to me as an adolescent, and he lives with me still. Like a good book, I read (well listen) to him over and over and constantly come across new lines I want to keep. Despite listening and trying to interpret every song he ever wrote, I still don’t get some of them. (Maybe, there is nothing to get!) Some are difficult to understand, though beautiful: )

Crimson flames tied through my ears; Rolling high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads; Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I; Proud beneath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now (My Back Pages,1964)


Some messages are clearer: )

But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked (It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding, 1964) Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it; hope I don’t blow it. (I Shall Be Free No. 10, Bob Dylan, 1964)

When I read the breaking news last night about Bob Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, I said, “What?” Despite everything, I realised, I too had (unconsciously) pigeon-holed him unfairly, despite having a full collection of all his books and music. )

My first ‘rock ‘n roll’ awakening was when a cousin introduced me to Jailhouse Rock in 1957. Then, the Beatles erupted in 1963/64. Buried somewhere in the mix was a popular camp fire song, Blowing in the Wind. How many roads must a man walk down, Before you call him a man? (Blowing in the Wind, 1962))

It was, like, wow! Who wrote that? (He was 21when he did. I was 15 when I heard it.) )

The sixties were crazy; thousands and thousands of songs from hundreds of performers jostled for space on the airwaves. Bob Dylan got buried in there somewhere because there was always something or someone ‘new’. It took a decade (or two) for most of the rest to become part of the backdrop collage I still listen to many of them on and off but, for me, three acts stand out. I still listen everyday (yes, every single day) to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. (They are in my ‘car’ playlist.) )

There’s a lot of bitching going on on the internet about the award. “He is only a pop singer,” say some. Only a musician. A singer. Really? I never thought of him as that; certainly not a singer! He was a balladeer; a troubadour. He told stories. He was a storyteller, as are all writers. And like all good writers he raised (in me, at least) a consciousness. Maybe, I only heard what I wanted to hear. I felt a lump in my throat the first time I heard: )

But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’(A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, 1962))

It was the consciousness thing. Again. )

“There are many other deserving novelists,” another post said. Again, really? Who? In the Anglophone world where creativity appears to have come to a grinding halt; the big publishers want their next big thing to be just like the last big thing, and cannot think beyond that. They have had to drag JK Rowling out of retirement to try to save their hide. Outside, in the rest of the world, there are a few novelists of note. Milan Kundera is a perennial suspect. As for Murakami, many (in the establishment) consider him to be too ‘pop’. )

Anolder friend (who plays the violin) once told me that he found classical music to be consciousness raising, made him more aware and a better person. “What does pop music do, make you a better ape?” I was offended like mad by the remark, and didn’t see him much after that. Still, I thought about it. I had to grudgingly agree that most pop music appeals to the unconscious. It’s about numbing the mind, about being elsewhere, about chilling out. There are times when I like to do that, and want to do that. But at other times, I want something that makes me think. )

Good books, to me at least, have always been about ideas, and lines that make me pause and think, that I’d like to make my own. Many have been stuck in my brain for decades. )

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” (A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens.))

I was 16 when I read that. Bob Dylan was not always about obscure lyrics; he wrote wonderful love songs too, though seldom the “feel good” type. )

Goodbye's too good a word, babe, so I'll just say fare thee well (Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right, 1963) Whoa! Who was he talking to?! Who deserved such a goodbye? And, sometimes, he made you wince: )

She might think that I've forgotten her, don't tell her it isn't so. (If You See Her, Say Hello, 1976))

Bob Dylan came to me as an adolescent, and he lives with me still. Like a good book, I read (well listen) to him over and over and constantly come across new lines I want to keep. Despite listening and trying to interpret every song he ever wrote, I still don’t get some of them. (Maybe, there is nothing to get!) Some are difficult to understand, though beautiful: )

Crimson flames tied through my ears; Rolling high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads; Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I; Proud beneath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now (My Back Pages,1964)


Some messages are clearer: )

But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked (It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding, 1964)

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