Blowing in the Wind

blowing2How many roads must a man walk down

Before they call him a man?

How many seas must a white dove sail

Before she sleeps in the sand?

How many times must the cannon balls 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 must a mountain exist

Before it is washed to the sea?

How many years can some people exist

Before they’re allowed to be free?

How many times can a man turn his head

And pretend that 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?

How many ears must one man have

Before he can hear people cry?

How many deaths will it take ’til he knows

That too many people have died?

 

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

 

Bob Dylan wrote Blowing in the Wind in 1962 and it was first released in 1963 on Dylan’s album Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The song was later sung by Peter, Paul and Mary.  In 1994 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and in 2004, it was ranked #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. In 2012, Bob Dylan, then age 70, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, in large part due to Blowing in the Wind. The song was once considered the anthem of the civil rights movement.  It has long been debated whether the song’s title means the answer is, just like the wind, right in your face, or whether the answer, like the wind, can never quite be seen.  I post these lyrics here today because I think they pose questions about peace and freedom that are just as relevant today as they were 50 years ago.  I think we need this song as much today as ever.  If I were running for president (I am not), this would be my theme song, my mantra.

 

“There ain’t too much I can say about this song except that the answer is blowing in the wind. It ain’t in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group. Man, it’s in the wind – and it’s blowing in the wind. Too many of these hip people are telling me where the answer is but oh I won’t believe that. I still say it’s in the wind and just like a restless piece of paper it’s got to come down some …But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know . . . and then it flies away. I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it’s wrong. I’m only 21 years old and I know that there’s been too many   . . . You people over 21, you’re older and smarter.” – Bob Dylan (24 May 1941 – Present)

 

Go back and read the lyrics again, think about them, share them, listen to the song, sing it … feel it.

Peter, Paul and Mary version

Bob Dylan version

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