Song Lyric Sunday

 

Helen Espinosa’s Song Lyric Sunday theme this week is either protest songs or songs about “surviving this crazy thing called life.”

Bob Dylan
At 21, Robert Zimmerman changed his name legally to Robert Dylan in honor of Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet.

Before the British Invasion of bubble gummer rock, Folk music in America was hitting a more mature stride than The Four Preps and The Lettermen hit with their College Pop music style. Harking back to the social commentary of Woody Guthrie’s time, Bob Dylan and others — many others — tapped into America’s growing unrest toward the Vietnam War, racism, and the Civil Rights movement. He and the many others helped wake us up and motivate us to break out of that Dark Age.

Today, this song seems just as relevant as it was in 1964, like most of Dylan’s music seems to be. Maybe this can be the anthem for fighting our way out of the Dark Age we live in now.

The YouTube link is in the song title.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

by Bob Dylan

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon

You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

Lyrics from MetroLyrics

Song Lyric Sunday

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Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

23 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday”

  1. Always loved that song, and Bob Dylan. Now, here’s a trail of music history to Bob Dylan: When “The Star Spangled Banner” became our national anthem, Irving Berlin hated the song because he felt it was too difficult to sing. That inspired him to write “God Bless America”. Woody Guthrie heard it on the radio as he traveled across America, and hated the song. That inspired him to write “This Land is Your Land”. Bob Dylan idolized Woody Guthrie, inspiring him to write music. I find this music trail fascinating! -Jennie-

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    1. Hahaha! Creativity driven by disapproval of someone else’s creativity. Have you ever done that? It might make an interesting artistic exercise for kids. Of course, you wouldn’t want to use any of the other kids’ creations for someone else to base their own on, but if they each chose a picture or story or song or anything they didn’t like, and created their “better” version, it might be empowering.

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      1. Thanks, Sue! I have done that with art, particularly the old masters. Last year children made large cut-outs, like Matisse, and Eric Carle style art. We compared and often felt that our versions were were ‘better’.

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        1. Haha! No, I think that’s projected to be too far away. More like the Dark Age of Hitler or the war in Vietnam, each of which seemed to precede a brief Golden Age (maybe Gold Plated Age is more accurate) of 10 – 20 years before Darkness again crept in to grow unnoticed till we couldn’t help but see.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. “Times they are a’ changing” one of my very favorites always. In the spirit of looking at what we’ve come to as a country, I offer up my favorite protest singer, Phil Ochs. His song, “Remember Me” still resonates.
        Oh, I am the Unknown Soldier who died in World War Two.

        I didn’t want to fight, it was the only thing to do.

        I was the victim of a world that went insane–

        Will you show me that I didn’t die in vain.

        Remember me, when the crosses are a burnin’,

        Remember me, when the racists come around.

        Remember me, when the tides of peace are turnin’,

        Remember me and please don’t let me down.

        On the South Pacific Islands and the Iwo Jima sands
        We raised the flag of freedom over many distant lands
        And every time I killed a man my own heart felt the pain–
        Will you show me that I didn’t die in vain.

        Remember me, when the crosses are a burnin’,
        Remember me, when the racists come around.
        Remember me, when the tides of peace are turnin’,
        Remember me and please don’t let me down.

        And I carried my old rifle to the European shore
        And every friend that died made me die a little more.
        Have pity on the man who put a bullet through my brain
        And show me that I didn’t die in vain.

        Remember me, when the crosses are a burnin’,
        Remember me, when the racists come around.
        Remember me, when the tides of peace are turnin’,
        Remember me and please don’t let me down.

        When the Fascists started marching many millions had to pay;
        We saw them rise to power but we looked the other way.
        It happened once before and it can happen once again–
        Will you show me that I didn’t die in vain.

        Remember me, when the crosses are a burnin’,
        Remember me, when the racists come around.
        Remember me, when the tides of peace are turnin’,
        Remember me and please don’t let me down.

        Read more: Phil Ochs – Remember Me Lyrics | MetroLyrics

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re the second person to bring up Phil Ochs as her favorite protest singer — the other song was “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”. How have I never heard of him? I just listened to “Remember Me” and “What Are You Fighting For”, and I’m sure I’ve never heard his voice before today. It strikes me how little anger shows in the folk music of our youth. The message is there, but the presentation is low key, even light-hearted or lyrical in tone. Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant comes to mind. Country Joe and the Fish’s “Vietnam Song” was a little heavier-handed than most, but even there, the music itself was like carousel music. I suppose that made it more palatable — more an esoteric joke among the youth, hummed behind the military industrial complex’s back.

          Thanks for sharing “Remember Me”, Marcia. I think it’s time folk started raising their voices in song again.

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