Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May You Stay Forever Young

I've been steeping in Bob Dylan tunes the last few days. Bluesy old ones, mostly - some romantic, some caustic, all of them deeply moving to me. His voice is a distraction... until until you listen long enough, until you love the song and you sing it with your own flawed voice and full heart and you hear the music, not the voice.

I made a playlist to share today, on his 70th birthday, but it won't load so instead I'm giving you this amazing song I just discovered, Not Dark Yet, from his Time Out of Mind album. The top comment on YouTube: "I wanna hear this song the last 6 minutes of my life." My sentiments exactly.


Like so many of his songs, you might like it better if you hear a cover by someone with a smoother voice, and if you find a great one I'd like to know. (I love Joan Baez's cover of "Forever Young," but nobody can touch Bob's own versions of biting social commentary like "Desolation Row" and "Like a Rolling Stone.")

Minnesota Public Radio has produced a documentary to salute his birthday. "Boy from the North Country, Bob Dylan in Minnesota" can be found here. I was interviewed for it and my comments appear at 8:40 and 28:20 in the hour-long program.

If you're not a fan, no matter. But if you are, it's a good time to take another listen to some of his tunes. Rediscover the witty lines that make you grin, the sad and the romantic and the angry and the celebratory.

Bob, thanks for all the music. May you - and we - stay forever young. 


Do you have a favorite Dylan song?

13 comments:

*Honest Abe said...

Amen...

Teresa Evangeline said...

I couldn't possibly pick one favorite, I'm not even sure I could pick one from each album. I'm a huge fan and I actually like his voice as part of the mystique of Bob. The video you selected to honor him on his birthday is perfect.

You beat him in a talent contest and that makes for a fun bit of personal history. To have known him as a young man and now see what he has become... Iconic might not even cover it. Prophet? Yes, I actually think so. One of , if not The best songwriter ever. A poet of uncommon voice is still an understatement.

As I said, I'm a huge fan and I like knowing you are, too. Our connection is solidified by it. :)

A Happy Birthday to His Bobness.

Grandmother said...

He's such a part of my adolescence and young adulthood when his songs spoke my feelings and those of a generation. How many generation have said that by now? "Forever Young" is my favorite but I too like Joan's version. She's a whole other topic!

DJan said...

Happy Birthday, Bob! And thanks for reminding me of the date, I read something a while back and forgot until now. I will take your advice and go back and listen to some of my old favorites. No special one comes to mind other than "Blowin' in the Wind," which marks my own political consciousness raising.

Red Shoes said...

I've always liked Bob...

At times, his voice has left something to be desired, but one can not deny that he hasn't let that stop him...

Would he win 'American Idol?' No...

Will ANY of the American Idol winners ever make an impact on the country the way he has? NO!!!

I love this! Thanks!!

~shoes~

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

I've not been a Dylan fan, really. Maybe I need to take a second look. I do enjoy this version of Not Dark Yet by Robyn Hitchcock (with John Paul Jones of Zeppelin):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwQupq_nrkg

Yes, a lovely, contemplative song. Thank you for the introduction to it!

Retired English Teacher said...

Thanks for sharing this part of your personal history with us. If Bob Dylan is 70, then we all must be getting old. May we all be "Forever Young."

Far Side of Fifty said...

Yes, He is seventy today..hard to believe. I like Desolation Row all 12 or 14 minutes of it..sung as only he can. He was a prolific song writer..I have always enjoyed his music..even if he doesn't sing so great I love his words:)

Anonymous said...

We share the same birthdate, I am only 63 yesterday, grew up listening to him all the time, a far more simple time to live! Young people don't have the luxury of working for a company their entire lives, no defined benefit pensions, no unions, I am married 37 years on may 27th 2011 to the same fellow I met when I was a tad little girl..Young married rarely live in the same town as their parents and when they have children they live so far away from grandparents they hardly know them at all, no I will take the times I grew up 40's, 50's, 60's, had our only child in late 70's (1977) she cannot imagine a simple life as we had, and wished for it a lot, now young people have to me music that shocks your ears and senses, nothing like Simon and Garfunkle, no folk singers, GaGa is to me a big showtime act..Oprah is gone from main TV, you can catch her on cable (we don't have cable) now cable shows are played on tv in our area of the country for free, we are too tired to stay up to see it..all in Bob Dylan to me is one of the greatest songwriters and to me a philosphers we will ever have, just wished being born on the same date I could have had that wisdom and philosphy so I could have written some the greatest songs ever written..I like your blog and I think you are just wonderful, keep having lots of bliss it is so hard to find in this materialistic world, your grandkids will be so happy to have had grandparents like you and your husband, few and far between in this modern world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

injaynesworld said...

It's never occurred to me to not like his voice. It may even be what I like best. It's so raw and honest. I guess for pure fun I loved "Everybody Must Get Stoned." It was my anthem for a while in the sixties and always brings back happy memories. Although, maybe they were so happy because I was so high. ;)

grammy said...

That was fun to listen to. Glad you shared (o:

Emma said...

Thanks mostly to my dad, I am definitely a Bob fan. I've seen him live three or four times in the past ten years. One show in particular was an incredibly magical experience. I love this song!

Linda Medrano said...

He is probably my all time favorite ever! I grew up on his music and the man is pure genius, goofy little voice and all.

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