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In honor of Bob Dylan's 70th birthday, it's good to remember his admonition, "he not busy being born is busy dying," from It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding). We know which direction he's been going all these years, since he's never stopped working at his art. 

So, what are your favorite Bob Dylan songs? You’ve got hundreds to choose from.

According to Wikipedia, over the last five decades, Dylan has recorded at least 34 studio albums, 58 singles, 13 live albums, nine bootleg collections and 14 compilation albums.

Here’s a list of titles of every song he recorded.

My favorites include When I Paint My Masterpiece, Maggie's Farm, Mr. Tambourine Man, All Along the Watchtower, Don't Think Twice, One More Cup of Coffee, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Masters of War, I Shall be Released, Mozambique and Hurricane, for starters. As someone said earlier today, it would be easier to list the songs I hate than those I love.
  
For fans or for those who want to know what all the hullabaloo is about, Rolling Stone has devoted an entire issue to Dylan, his music and impact on several generations.

I’m so glad Bob Dylan is still around, still doing what he’s always done. Yes, he’s evolved, gotten raspy and wrinkly and old, but his essence is still there, clear as it was in 1963. The first song I ever heard by him was "The Ballad of Hattie Carroll," and since I lived in the state where Carroll lived and was killed, that song rocked me to my core. Then I heard "Like a Rolling Stone" and he had me in the palm of his hand.   

To me, Bob Dylan is far more than a singer, songwriter, lyricist, artist or personality. He's my anchor to the beginning of my own sense of self. Without him in the world, I’d have to invent him.

One of my all-time favorite Dylan lyrics, if a bit cynical:

"Ah, get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift"
 - Subterranean Homesick Blues

Feel free to add your list of favorite songs or lines, in Comments.

Happy Birthday, Bob, and many, many more. 

 


Comments

05/27/2011 04:40

My strongest memory of a Dylan song was sitting with friends in the lobby of the elegant new Shangri La hotel in Beijing in July 1989 - after the Tianenmen Massacre when the town was empty of tourists and very very quiet while the piano player there (still on duty in spite of everything) was playing and singing - The answer my friend is Blowin in the Wind. We were all stunned and amazed at the quiet protest of this musician. Here is a link you might likehttp://www.humanflowerproject.com/index.php/weblog/comments/1953/

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