A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 16 October 2009

Blowing In The Wind

The 1st time I saw Joan Baez was in August 2003 at the Summer Sundae event in the grounds of De Montfort Hall, Leicester. She appeared alongside Chrissie Hynde, Billy Bragg, Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle. I saw Joan Baez again last night in Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall. Her voice is still in great shape and she gave an unforgettable performance.

The 1st time I saw Bob Dylan was in June 1978 at Earl's Court, London, where he took the stage for 6 nights. These were the 1st shows Dylan had given in the UK for 12 years. He sang 27 songs, including 'Blowing In The Wind'. At about the same time his 20th album, 'Street Legal', was released - apart from 'Blood On The Tracks' his finest album of the 1970s.

Since then I've seen him around 30 times (I have a proper list somewhere documenting time and place but can't find it right now). The last time I saw Bob Dylan was on 24 April 2009 at the Sheffield Arena. He sang 17 songs, both new and old, and once more included 'Blowing 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 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 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.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Love Bob Dylan - but am slightly perturbed to find he is bringing out a Christmas Album???

The Solitary Walker said...

Christmas? Aagh! How can you mention such a word in October, Weaver!

This year I think I'll just go and hide myself in a large rabbit burrow, or possibly a vat of wine, until it's all over.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Okay…what do the two of you have against Christmas? (Admittedly, Bob Dylan singing "Hark! The Herald Angles Sing!" might be a bit much.)

And shame on you, Solitary, for considering hiding in a vat of wine…why you'd drink your cover in no time, and be one soused Grinch—though possibly a very merry Grinch, at least until the hangover set in and the liver failure began. Besides, you strike me as a far better candidate for the Bilbo Baggins accommodations.

I never think of Dylan or Baez when I hear "Blowing In the Wind." For me, it's always Peter, Paul & Mary. That the version that got the airplay here.

The Solitary Walker said...

It's the fact that Christmas seems to get earlier and earlier each year, Grizz, that gets my goat!

Why, some folks round here are already planning their gift lists. Summer's all but over, and already thoughts are turning to fixing those fused Yule tree lights from last year, and considering which unwanted, gaudy socks and oversized shirts and cut-price, unfashionable ties they can foist upon some unwary recipient. I can even think of one or two who bought all their Xmas presents months ago in the January sales. I know a smidgen of planning is involved - but, please, not before Halloween is even over!

But... glances at desk calandar he sees there are only 10 weeks to go... Help! Panic! What on earth shall I do with those dozens of identical Dylan CDs I'll doubtless receive? Why, save them to redistribute next Christmas, of course - probably to Cliff Richard or James Blunt fans. Now, that's the spirit!

Only joking. Of course. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Let me be the first to wish all my blog readers a very, merry Christmas :) Now, where did I put those knackered Christmas tree lights...

am said...

Thought you might like to have this link to the recent Joan Baez documentary:


Bob Dylan makes thoughtful remarks about Joan Baez in the documentary.

"Christmas in the Heart" seems to be a Rorschach test. What I see and hear is a Gemini mix of playfulness and "let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

That's my take on it, especially given the new information that, along with the horses and people in a sleigh image for the cover, there is also an image of Bettie Page in a Santa suit and an image of the three wise men.

I first saw Bob Dylan in concert with The Band at Boston Gardens in early 1974. I've seen him numerous times in Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. -- the last time in Vancouver, B.C. That was sometime in the late 1990's. Was tempted to go to the Moore Theater performance in Seattle on October 4, but stayed home. He opened the concert with "Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking."

Thanks for the posting that memorable version of Blowing in the Wind.

I did buy a copy of "Christmas in the Heart," but it hasn't arrived yet (-: