Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bob Dylan's birthday . . .

Actually next week, but by then everybody will be talking about it so I thought I'd get a jump. He's turned out to be a strange, inscrutable figure as an adult, but his youthful idealism and unquenchable lust for justice were unmistakable in his art. He recorded Masters of War when he was 22 years old.

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks . . . .

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud . . . .

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do . . . .

Blowin' in the Wind, Hard Rain Gonna Fall and Oxford Town were on the same album.

I know for certain there are young people today writing songs just as lacerating and just as truthful about the same damn truths that just won't go away. However, it seems the mass culture isn't ready to receive them.


whisker said...

Now you're done it. I'm going to have to pull out the ferrwheelin Bob Dylan and listen to it....

robin andrea said...

Why isn't the mass culture ready for it? I often think it's because the mass culture has been narcotized by TV and everything else it's bombarded with 24/7. It can no longer recognize the sounds of truth plaintively crying in its ears. It's just one more sound.

kathy a. said...

happy birthday!

thanks for celebrating by sharing.