If rock ‘n’ roll had a poet laureate, it would be Bob Dylan.
Still touring at age 75 (a milestone he reached on May 24, 2016), Dylan has traced and sometimes defied the prevailing culture through his jingle-jangle lyricism. Rolling Stone has called him one the most influential American musicians “rock and roll has ever produced.”
In 2008 Dylan was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation “for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”
His early anthem, "Blowin' in the Wind," became a soundtrack for the 1960s civil rights movement, but also posed rhetorical questions for the ages. And through all of his phases, from going electric in 1965 to his conversion to Christianity in the 1980s, Dylan (real name: Robert Allen Zimmerman) has left behind phrases and sayings that have seeped deep into the American songbook, our psyche, and our culture.
Dylan has won many awards, including 11 Grammy Awards, one Academy Award, and one Golden Globe Award; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. Update: And on Oct. 13, 2016, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his full body of work.
So as we wish a Happy 75th Birthday to the famed troubadour, here's a look at some of his most memorable words of wisdom. (Forgive us if we're partial to his early works.)
"You're a Big Girl Now" (1974):
"Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast."
"Just Like a Woman" (1966):
"And she takes just like a woman
And she aches just like a woman
And she wakes just like a woman
Yeah, but she breaks just like a little girl."
"Love Minus Zero/No Limit" (1965):
"She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all."
"The Times They Are A-Changin" (1964):
"Don’t criticize what you can't understand."
"Absolutely Sweet Marie" (1966):
"To live outside the law, you must be honest."
"All Along the Watch Tower" (1968):
"There must be some kind of way out of here, said the joker to the thief."
"Mr. Tambourine Man" (1965):
"Let me forget about today until tomorrow."
"My Back Pages" (1964):
"I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now."
"Blowin' in the Wind" (1963):
"Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?"
"Subterranean Homesick Blues" (1963):
"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
"Open the Door, Homer" (1975):
"Take care of all your memories … for you cannot relive them."
|var mth = mth|
|"Gonna Change My Way of Thinking"|
|"I Shall Be Released"|
|"Subterranean Homesick Blues"|
|"Mr. Tambourine Man"|
|"It Ain't Me Babe"|
|"It's All Over Now Baby Blue"|
|"Like a Rolling Stone"|
"Masters of War" (1963):
"All the money you made will never buy back your soul."
"Maggie’s Farm" (1965):
"I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them."
"Buckets of Rain" (1974):
"All ya can do is do what you must ..."
"Sweetheart Like You" (1983):
"Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king …"
"Obviously 5 Believers" (1966):
"I could make it without you if I just did not feel so all alone …"
"Like a Rolling Stone" (1965):
"When you ain't got nothin'
You got nothing to lose …"
"With God on Our Side" (1963):
"The land that I live in
Has God on its side."
"Tangled Up in Blue" (1975):
"All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now.''
"Forever Young" (1973):
"May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift."