“This here ain’t no protest song or anything like that, ’cause I don’t write no protest songs.” – how Bob Dylan introduced “Blowin’ in the Wind” at Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village (April 16, 1962)

Dylan’s iconic “Blowin’ in the Wind” was released in 1963 as a single, and on his second studio album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. It’s been described as a protest song, and poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war and freedom.

On August 25, 2020 a new video of “Blowin’ in the Wind” was posted on YouTube by “mattubule,” using the 2016 track by Scott Hoying, Julia Harriman, and Mario Jose:

Dump Trump + Blowin’ In The Wind

Although written in 1962, the lyrics are as pertinent today.

Rich DiPentima (LTC, USAF Ret.) of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, writes in his June 16, 2020 letter: “Watching the total failure of Mr. Trump and his administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing racial injustice, the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s song ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ have been playing in my head. In particular the following:

How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?

How many ears must one person have before he can hear people cry?

How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died? … ”

In the following video by DABFILMS, soundbites of President Trump downplaying the COVID-19 virus are interspersed with questions asked by Dylan in the song:

Bob Dylan Interviews Donald Trump

From Lauren Daley’s June 14, 2020 article “Minnesota native Bob Dylan sang George Floyd’s song for years”:

You might watch the news and see teargas bombs, protesters flushing their eyes with milk, police in riot gear, signs and fists in the air and think:

Where are the protest singers now? Where is Bob Dylan?

His home state on fire with frustration, mutiny from stern to bow.

A black man, literally suffocated, under the knee of white authority, in an image that feels lifted from a political cartoon, so pregnant is it with symbolism.

But Dylan did write about George Floyd.

He wrote about Floyd in “Oxford Town.”

“He went down to Oxford Town, guns and clubs followed him down. All because his face was brown. Better get away from Oxford Town.”

And “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

“How many ears must one person have before he can hear people cry? And how many deaths will it take ’til he knows that too many people have died?”

And “Hurricane.”

“If you’re black you might as well not show up on the street/ ’Less you want to draw the heat.”

And “The Times They Are A ’Changin”

“There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’ / It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls / For the times they are a-changin.’”

And “The Death of Emmett Till.”

“If you can’t speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that’s so unjust/ Your eyes are filled with dead men’s dirt, your mind is filled with dust.”

“With God On Our Side.” “Masters of War.” Get goosebumps watching “Pawn in Their Game.” I could go on. …

James Sullivan writes in his 2019 book, Which Side Are You On? 20th Century American History in 100 Protest Songs: “… he [Sam Cooke] was chagrined when he first heard Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ in the Wind,” which borrowed its melody in part from the old spiritual ‘No More Auction Block.” The song asked a barbed question: ‘How many roads must a man walk down/Before you call him a man?’ Cooke, marveling that it took a white boy to write it, vowed to write his own song for the progressive movement. It was an incident in which the singer, his wife, and his band mates were denied accommodations at a Holiday Inn in Shreveport, Louisiana—Cooke incensed, was arrested for disturbing the peace—that compelled him to compose his song. Shortly after Christmas 1963, he summoned his friend and fellow musician J.W. Alexander to his home, where he ran through the somber ballad he called ‘A Change Is Gonna Come.’ He recorded the song in late January 1964, at RCA Studios in Hollywood, with a full orchestral arrangement, and performed it a week later on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. That would turn out to be the one and only time Cooke sang the song in public. Cooke was unsettled by the song’s grave tone, and his friend Bobby Womack agreed, admitting that he thought the song sounded ‘like death.’’’ (pp. 59-60).

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is a columnist at TheWeek.com. His analysis of “Blowin’ in the Wind”: “This is a classically ‘Dylanesque’ picture of spirituality and of man’s relationship to existential questions and the Spirit, which is also profoundly Biblical.”

Blowin’ in the Wind

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes ’n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes ’n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes ’n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes ’n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

More info:

Odetta – No More Auction Block For Me

Lyrics: Blowin’ in the Wind

Blowin’ in the Wind (Wikipedia)

Blowin’ In The Wind (2016 cover)

Blowing in the wind (1962). The meaning of the music and the lyrics.
By Tony Attwood

Blowin’ in the Wind (The Bob Dylan Project)

Bob Dylan records “Blowin’ in the Wind

Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind

Blowing In The Wind (Live On TV, March 1963)

Bob Dylan – Blowin’ In The Wind (LIVE NEWPORT 1963) BEST VERSION

The Story Behind The Song: ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ the Bob Dylan classic written in 10 minutes (July 9, 2020)
By Jack Whatley

Peter, Paul and Mary – Blowing in the Wind

Blowin’ In The Wind – Peter, Paul and Mary (Remastered)

Peter Paul & Mary Talk about The March On Washington & Sing Songs 1963 [HD]

Peter, Paul and Mary Perform at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Excepts of Paul & Mary live at the March On Washington August 28th 1963 – First Performance (2:15 mark)

Blowin’ in the Wind – The Staple Singers

Revisiting Johnny Cash’s mesmerizing cover of Bob Dylan song ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ on Letterman, 1992
By Joe Taysom

Johnny Cash – Blowin’ in the Wind

The Return of the Protest Song (Jan. 18, 2015)
By Salamishah Tillet

Under the Baobab: On the anniversary of the March on Washington, keep your minds on freedom (Aug. 28, 2020)
By Charles Dumas

Pandemic, politics and police brutality: where did all the protest music go?
By Hannah Dailey (Aug. 18, 2020)

‘Walking with the Wind’/Memoir of the Civil Rights Movement – A Tribute to Rep. John Lewis

Joan Baez – Blowin’ in the Wind (Live 1978)

Joan Baez – Blowin’ In The Wind (2020)

It’s All Over Now, Baby Don

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (Official Lyric Video)

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? 20th Century American History in 100 Protest Songs (2019)
By James Sullivan

Expecting Rain is one of the great meeting places on the internet for Dylan fans, curated by its founder Karl Erik Andersen.

#TrumpVirus #TrumpVirusOrg #BobDylan #BlowinInTheWind #BlowingInTheWind #DonaldTrump


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