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?