Every now and then a song really speaks to a generation. No song did that better than Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.” I love rhythmic tunes. This isn’t one of those. I love songs where I can figure out the lyrics. This isn’t one of those songs, either. I had to go to the that lyrics site and then the light bulb went off.
Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you ?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.
How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?
Is this the greatest rock and roll song of all time? Rock and roll, like jazz before it and rap after it, has to speak to a generation. To be great the song must change the dynamic. The less gifted must try to emulate the artist who created the masterpiece. Everyone should be able to sit back and listen to Dylan and become lost in the thoughtful, penetrating lyrics. How does it feel?
“I wrote it. I didn’t fail. It was straight,” Bob Dylan said of his greatest song shortly after he recorded it in June 1965. There is no better description of “Like a Rolling Stone” — of its revolutionary design and execution — or of the young man, just turned 24, who created it.
Al Kooper, who played organ on the session, remembers today, “There was no sheet music, it was totally by ear. And it was totally disorganized, totally punk. It just happened.” (more…)