Dear Mr Dylan,
You are the greatest songwriter in the world. I love your songs like I love nobody else’s song… even when I can’t make out what you’re saying in them. That’s because I know when I Google them, I will be profounded by what you were trying to sing. However, while learning to play your songs, I discovered didn’t feel quite right, so I made a few changes and I’d like to share them with you.
Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan!
Ah, you were so much older then, you’re younger than that now… and may you stay forever young no matter how much the times, they are a’changin’, you rolling stone you!
Man, can you believe the Bob is 70???
I sure can’t… mostly because my main association with him is through his music, and that’s mostly timeless, never aging, so the icon seems that way to me.
For Bob’s 70th, Rolling Stone magazine did a huge number of features this month on him:
Me, I did a meme tribute on Facebook to share one of my favourite Top 10 Bob Dylan songs each day leading to his birthday today. Here is my list, which was generally presented in no particular order except for the last two being my favourite two Dylan songs. It gets too hard to separate the order of the others for me.
Blowin’ in the Wind is a Bob Dylan classic that is not only simple in its chording, but can also be played in 3 different keys without needing any difficult chords or capo. That means no bar chords, or even chords requiring 4 fingers! You can play and sing it in the keys of A, D or G, depending on where you vocal range lies.
Or you can do it in all three keys as I have arranged and shown in the video below! You play and sing each verse in a progressively higher key as the urgency grows in the lyrics. Notes are included in the printable guitar and ukulele tab PDFs below the video.
Sophie B. Hawkins
Update: There is no longer a video of this track. Some copyright freak keeps getting new ones removed that it’s no longer worthwhile for me to track down new uploads. Lots of other content exist legitimately on YouTube and other video sites. Somebody’s just incredibly old fashioned to still get the videos of this great performance removed.
The broadcast of the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary tribute concert held by Columbia Record in October 1992, and broadcasted on television some time after, was when I fully discovered the genius of Bob Dylan. I had heard a song here or there of his, but never so many together. Then there were a whole bunch I had not realized that were his songs because the radio play just doesn’t give that songwriter credit often enough. And there were a bunch I had never heard before. This was, for me, without a doubt, the one concert I wish I could have attended if I could have.
However, when I got the concert double CD, I was disappointed in that my favourite performance of the night, I Want You, sung by Sophie B. Hawkins, was not on it. Neither was the performance on the VHS tape then, or DVD now. I don’t know why that was, but I was disappointed despite the rest of the quality tracks on it, especially Stevie Wonder’s incredibly moving rendition of Blowin’ in the Wind.
However, in this day and age with YouTube, I knew I could count on someone to have posted that performance. Sure enough, someone did. Have a look and listen below. Sophie just dives into the song and lets it rip, complete with what looks like a bell organ accompaniment and a small choir that included, among others, Sheryl Crow.
And for my own use, Stevie Wonder’s rendition of Blowin’ in the Wind, but I highly recommend a listen if you’ve never heard it… or a re-listen if you have! Why there isn’t a version on YouTube without subtitles is beyond me but have a listen and how Stevie got the entire Madison Square Garden crowd into it. Wow!
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.3