Blowin’ In The Wind – Bob Dylan

Blowin’ In The Wind

Bob Dylan / 2:46

Musician: Bob Dylan: vocals, guitar, harmonica

Recording Studio: Columbia Recording Studios / Studio A, New York: July 9, 1962

As surprising as it may seem, Dylan wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind” in just ten minutes on April 16, 1962. He was in a coffee shop, the Commons, opposite the Gaslight, the mythical center of the folk scene in the heart of Greenwich Village, where not only Dylan but also Richie Havens, Jose Feliciano, and Bruce Springsteen, among others, got their start. In 2004, when CBS newsman Ed Bradley asked Dylan about the speed with which he wrote, Dylan replied honestly: “It came from… that wellspring of creativity.”  To Scorsese, he also said that regardless of where he was—in the subway, a coffee shop, “sometimes talking to someone”—he could be hit by inspiration. It was an exceptional period, and many years later he tried in vain to re-create it.

During the months following its release, “Blowin’ in the Wind” was at the heart of a controversy that had nothing to do with music. A high school student from Millburn, New Jersey, named Lorre Wyatt claimed to be the real composer of the song, which he said he sold for a thousand dollars. Several students even stated they heard Wyatt singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” before the singles by Peter, Paul and Mary and Dylan came out. This claim was taken very seriously, and Newsweek magazine repeated it in November 1963. It was only in 1974 that Lorre Wyatt admitted having lied to impress the other members of his group, the Millburnaires.

Starting with the New World Singers and Peter, Paul and Mary, hundreds of artists inserted “Blowin’ in the Wind” into their repertoire. These include Marlene Dietrich (1963), Joan Baez (1963), Marianne Faithfull (1964), Sam Cooke (1964), and Stevie Wonder (who reached tenth place on the charts), as well as Judy Collins, Elvis Presley, Neil Young, and Ziggy Marley.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
And how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
And how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’til he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

SourceBob Dylan: All The Songs

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