TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN
    “The Times They Are a-Changin’” opens with its title track, one of Bob Dylan’s most
    famous songs. Dylan’s friend, Tony Glover, recalls visiting Dylan’s apartment in
    September 1963, where he saw a number of song manuscripts and poems lying on a
    table. “The Times They Are a-Changin'” had yet to be recorded, but Glover saw its early
    manuscript. After reading the words “come senators, congressmen, please heed the call”,
    Glover reportedly asked Dylan: “What is this shit, man?”, to which Dylan responded,
    “Well, you know, it seems to be what the people like to hear”. A self-conscious protest
    song, it is often viewed as a reflection of the generation gap and of the political divides
    marking American culture in the 1960s. Dylan, however, disputed this interpretation in
    1964, saying “Those were the only words I could find to separate aliveness from
    deadness. It had nothing to do with age.” A year later, Dylan would say: “I can’t really say
    that adults don’t understand young people any more than you can say big fishes don’t
    understand little fishes. I didn’t mean ‘”The Times They Are a-Changin” as a statement…
    It’s a feeling.
    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 prophecise 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 the hall,
    for he that gets hurt
    will be he who has stalled,
    there’s a battle
    outside and it’s 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 criticise
    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’.
    The line it is drawn,
    the curse it is cast,
    the slow one now will
    later be fast,
    as the present now
    will later be past –
    the order is rapidly fadin’,
    and the first one now
    will later be last
    for the times they are a-changin’.