CONGRATULATIONS to BOB DYLAN ! Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
The award was announced on October 13, 2016. The Swedish Academy wrote that the prize was granted for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."
“Dylan has recorded a large number of albums revolving around topics like the social conditions of man, religion, politics and love,” the Swedish Academy said in a biographical note accompanying the announcement. “The lyrics have continuously been published in new editions, under the title ‘Lyrics.’ As an artist, he is strikingly versatile; he has been active as painter, actor and scriptwriter.” The academy added: “Since the late 1980s, Bob Dylan has toured persistently, an undertaking called the ‘Never-Ending Tour.’ Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound, and he is the object of a steady stream of secondary literature.”
Song text: How many roads must a man walk down Before you call him a man ? How many seas must a white dove sail Before she sleeps in the sand ? Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly Before they're forever banned ? The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind.
Yes, how many years can a mountain exist Before it's washed to the sea ? Yes, how many years can some people exist Before they're allowed to be free ? Yes, how many times can a man turn his head Pretending he just doesn't see ? The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind.
Yes, how many times must a man look up Before he can see the sky ? Yes, how many ears must one man have Before he can hear people cry ? Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died ? The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind.
Song Text: Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you Is worth savin' Then you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin'.
Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won't come again And don't speak too soon For the wheel's still in spin And there's no tellin' who That it's namin'. For the loser now Will be later to win For the times they are a-changin'.
Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled There's a battle outside And it is ragin'. It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a-changin'.
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 Your old road is Rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand For the times they are a-changin'.
The line it is drawn The curse it is cast The slow one now Will later be fast As the present now Will later be past The order is Rapidly fadin'. And the first one now Will later be last For the times they are a-changin'.
Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son? And what did you see, my darling young one? I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin' I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin' I saw a white ladder all covered with water I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son? And what did you hear, my darling young one? I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin' I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin' I heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin' I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin' Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
Oh, who did you meet my blue-eyed son? Who did you meet, my darling young one? I met a young child beside a dead pony I met a white man who walked a black dog I met a young woman whose body was burning I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow I met one man who was wounded in love I met another man who was wounded in hatred And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
And what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son? And what'll you do now my darling young one? I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin' I'll walk to the deepths of the deepest black forest Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison Where the executioner's face is always well hidden Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten Where black is the color, where none is the number And I'll tell and think it and speak it and breathe it And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin' But I'll know my songs well before I start singin' And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
* * * * Image credits: Bob Dylan (top image - c. 1962 @ Carnegie Hall?): www.nbcnews.com 1963: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dylan 2001: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/14/arts/music/bob-dylan-nobel-prize-literature.html?_r=0 2012: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dylan 2013: www.performanceimpressions.com Swedish Academy (below left): www.nobelprize.org Swedish Academy (below right): www.dreamstime.com
Post Script #1: Dylan did not attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies that took place on December 10, 2016. He declined the invitation. He sent a note to the Swedish Academy, accepting the Prize but stating that he had pre-existing commitments that prevented his attendance. It was an ethical error of epic proportions, extreme arrogance. He was just too busy! No one knows where he was on that day of festivities in Stockholm. www.nytimes.com/2016/12/10/arts/bob-dylan-skips-nobel-prize-ceremonies.html?_r=0
Post Script #2: And finally, he did receive the Nobel medal and commemorative diploma in Sweden, weekend of April 1, 2017. Nobel laureates are awarded approximately $900,000 (8 million Swedish krona) in Prize money. They are required to give a lecture within 6 months of the Prize ceremony which took place on December 10, 2016. It remains unclear exactly when Dylan will give his lecture and whether it will be in person or taped. www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/arts/music/bob-dylan-accept-nobel-prize.html?ref=todayspaper
“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted, but mostly they're darked. But mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?” ― Theodor S. Geisel