April 20

Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” is Indeed Mind-blowin’!

I say it’s just the best protest, now who wants to protest?

“Blowin’ In The Wind” was released in 1963 as the first single of the second studio album ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’. The song speaks of humanity, war and peace and other ambiguous questions that people refuse to answer. Bob Dylan claims that the answers are already there.

Some literary critics identified the song to be a protest song since he was known for songs that chronicle social and political issues during the first decades of his career.

Interestingly, Dylan claims that he wrote this song in about 10 minutes one afternoon. Later in the evening of the same day, he took the song to the nightclub Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village, where he was due to play a set. Before playing it, he announced,

 “This here ain’t no protest song or anything like that, ’cause I don’t write no protest songs.”

Whether or not the song was intended for a protest, it was used in various political and social items. In fact, it has been described as an anthem of the civil rights movement

Additionally, Peter, Paul & Mary performed this song at the March on Washington, which took place August 28, 1963. Accordingly, the song itself has a hooking power that created an epiphany to arise during the performance that tangled the hearts of almost 250,000 people who joined the event.

Bob Dylan's “Blowin' in the Wind” is Indeed Mind-blowin'! 1

Bible-based can never be erased

Another literary critic suggested that the lyric is an example of Dylan’s incorporation of Biblical rhetoric into his own style. In the Book of Ezekiel (12:1–2), it says,

“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Oh mortal, you dwell among the rebellious breed. They have eyes to see but see not; ears to hear, but hear not’”.

In “Blowin’ in the Wind”, Dylan transforms this into

“Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?”;

“Yes how many times must a man turn his head?  

Pretending he just doesn’t see?”

Man, it’s in the wind — and it’s blowing in the wind

The song’s refrain, “The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind” remained unclear: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind”.

All the same, I urge you, dear fella, not to give up on your questions that remained unanswered, because the answer will definitely come blowing in your ear like the wind, in the right place at the right time.


blowin in the wind, bob dylan, protest song

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