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Blowin in the Wind Analysis

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Blowin in the Wind Analysis

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  • April 2008
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Blowin’ in the Wind Analysis
Bob Dylan can be argued as one of the best singer-songwriters of all time. Dylan has been an intricate part of American rock music for five decades now and recently was the first musician of his genre to win the Pulitzer Prize. Pulitzer administrator Sig Gissler stated, “It recognizes Dylan’s lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” Dylan was a master of creating powerful and inspirational songs that were anthems of his time and still remain to promote peace. Dylan’s hit “Blowin’ in the Wind” off the 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was one of his best works that raises questions about war, peace and freedom while showing off his profound talent of songwriting.

The first performance of this song was on April 16, 1962 in the midst of the Vietnam War. “Blowin’ in the Wind” was a perfect song for the time. The song raises questions of morality in the world at the time, war, oppression, human rights, etc. The first line of the song “How many roads must a man walk down? / Before you can call him a man” raises the question, how much should one be through before he is given respect? Essentially a protest song, this refers to the protesters of the time and how much they went through to get heard. The next line of the song (see appendix) talks about a white dove sailing seas. The dove is a universal symbol for peace. Dylan asks the question how long must it be flying before it can rest and not worry about war. This line can also be viewed as a biblical allusion as many Bob Dylan songs can. In Genesis 8:8 Noah sent a dove to find calm waters but the dove found none, leaving it unable to rest in sand. The flood, which was caused by sin, was still upon the earth and consequently gave the dove no rest. The following line of the song asks the question “How many times must the cannon balls fly? / Before they’re ever banned.” Dylan asks another question of how many people must die before the world can cease its need to war....