10 Bob Dylan songs you should die before you hear


You win. Again. All you bastards with your linear narratives. All you male bastards, writing entire worlds out of existence.

I’m not going to offer reasons. I think the reasons are clear: needless reinforcement, redundancy, over-familiarity, bad grammar, tuning, contempt of the mainstream for the outlying reaches, the curse of ‘authenticity’ (not sure Dylan ever claimed that for himself, fair play), tired tropes and rhetoric, school teachers and academics, the male gender… the Nobel Prize award is is the equivalent of David Cameron saying he likes The Smiths. A pathetic, shallow attempt to engage with the Great Unwashed. A reaffirmation of the place of the babyboomer in this cursed world of ours (right on top of the pile, baby, right on top of the pile!). Whatever. Others have and will say it more eloquently than me. Me? I just never want to hear these song – and so I offer a few meagre alternatives.

Oh, and they ain’t giving Dylan a Nobel Prize for his fucking wordsmithery whatever you choose to believe. They’re giving him it for being a performer. All awards are popularity contests, Nobel Prizes triply so.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

Blowin’ In The Wind

Mr Tambourine Man

Like A Rolling Stone

Just Like A Woman

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Maggie’s Farm

All Along The Watchtower

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

Masters Of War

The title for this piece btw comes from here.

4 Responses to 10 Bob Dylan songs you should die before you hear

  1. […] ADDENDA I’ve written a follow-up blog entry. 10 Bob Dylan songs you should die before you hear […]

    • Ian Kemp says:

      There are lots 1/ every grain of sand 2/ for ever young 3/ up to me . 4/ desolation Row 5/ tomorrow is a long time.6 my back pages 7/ Blowing in the wind 8/ Its not Dark yet 9/ Rosemary Lilly and the Jack of hearts 10 /Shelter from the Storm

  2. Michael Leahy says:

    Okay, prizes are shit. Not sure though about you identifying with the “great unwashed” and then having a problem with Dylan’s bad grammar and dodgy tuning. I mean, ooh the ‘stablishment! But ya gotta speak like they told ya. Right??

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