I must admit that I was a big fan of Bob Dylan during my hearing years. I was a teenager when I “discovered” Bobby Dylan’s first album. He like me, at least in my mind, was somewhat of a rebel. His songs frequently railed against the establishments of the day. I learned to play the guitar because I wanted to play his songs. I, like Bobby, had a rather raspy voice so I thought I could pull it off. Even now I can still recite many of the lyrics to his songs. He had a deep impact on me in my younger years.
If Bob had been born in an earlier age he would now be considered one of the great poets of our country. In fact Sebastian Cabot made a record of the words to many of his songs by reciting them without music. Many don’t know that along with all the songs he recorded he wrote many others. This included one of my favorite called ”Blown in the Wind” which was recorded by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Unlike many songs of today that seem to just repeat the same thing over and over again, Bob’s songs had a deep meaning to the times.
I now I look more like Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul, and Mary) now than I do Dylan but he was one of the heroes who made me who I am. He made me aware of the suffering around me and the injustices in the world. I will always thank him for that. I wish I could pull out some of the albums in my closet to listen to them again but I guess I still have many of them in my mind so that will have to do.
Its hard to pick a favorite song of Bob’s, I loved so many of them. But the one that helped me become the altruist that I am today is probably “A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall”. Here is the last stanza from that song. I can still hear it as if it were coming from his lips:
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 depths 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