December 2, 2020

Happy 70th, Bob Dylan

By Chaplain Mike

Part way through my morning, I remembered it was Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday. I scrolled through my iPod playlist and saw that I had a “Dylan Mix” there.

So, here are the 25 songs with which I celebrated Dylan today. There could have been a hundred more, but these 25 served just fine.

Comments welcome on all things Dylan today.

  • The Times They Are A-Changin’
  • Mr. Tambourine Man
  • Like A Rolling Stone
  • All Along The Watchtower
  • Lay Lady Lay
  • Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
  • Tangled Up In Blue
  • Hurricane
  • Forever Young
  • I Want You
  • It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
  • Just Like A Woman
  • Peggy Day
  • Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  • Slow Train
  • Gotta Serve Somebody
  • Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking
  • When You Gonna Wake Up
  • Jokerman
  • I And I
  • Everything Is Broken
  • Summer Days
  • Thunder On the Mountain
  • Nettie Moore
  • I Feel a Change Comin’ On


  1. Once more, Chaplain Mike and I are thinking alike. I have been playing my Dylan Playlist today as well. (A relatively minor one, I admit. Only 80 songs, or 6.5 hours worth.) Here are a few more of my favorites:

    Desolation Row
    It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
    Ballad Of A Thin Man
    Shelter From The Storm
    I Shall Be Released
    Idiot Wind

    Happy birthday, Mr. Zimmerman…

  2. Dylan’s genius is in the subject matter, in my view. His “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” surely is his most haunting composition. The song and the true story behind it say much about white American privilege. Also, his “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” won’t go out of style.

    • Dan Crawford says

      “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” is a stunner, as is “It’s a Hard Rain’s A-gonna Fall”.

  3. “Things Have Changed” – dude won an Oscar with it.

  4. Don’t want to spoil the party, but whatever happened to the Bob Dylan that made a profession of faith way back when?

    • Might have found it too main stream. Always a junkie for the counter-culture. I hope he’s quietly embracing his faith somewhere but who knows?!

    • Because the vast evangelical complex reduced him to making albums like “Saved”. He isn’t workin’ on Maggie’s farm no more.

    • cermak_rd says

      I believe he’s returned to Judaism.

    • Dylan’s religious these days views are somewhat unclear. Christianity still seems to come up occasionally in his lyrics and choices of covers, but his public statements on the matter are confusing and sometimes contradictory. Though most recently he said “I am a true believer” in an interview about his recent Christmas album.

    • We will talk about this further in this week’s Saturday Ramblings. Stay tuned…

  5. Great photo! Right-clicked to the collection and saved for next year.

    For me, one of the big Dylan mysteries is why “Idiot Wind” keeps sounding better and better. I mean, it’s not even a nice song. And it’s not supposed to sound good. But it does.

    • One of my favorite things about Idiot Wind is how, after raging and spewing venom at the girl for most of the song, in the final verse he admits that he was at fault too.

  6. Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

    Dylan and Townes Van Zandt are the two artists I ALWAYS cover when playing my guitar. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” and “It Ain’t Me, Babe” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” are almost always in my sets.

    • Isaac, you’ve got great taste. Go to youtube and play Joan Baez’ cover of “It Ain’t Me, Babe”, the BBC In Concert version. I’m in love.

      Aw, here’s the link; Mike’s a fan:

      I didn’t think I could put this one up on the blog for Bob’s birthday because she jokes (?) that she’s anti-marriage in the intro. And I have three girls. But man, what a song. Settled for Forever Young instead, Joan older in that one but I’m still in love.

    • Don’t think Twice, It’s alright is the song i play on the guitar the most too.
      but my all time favourite Dylan tune is always Blowin in the Wind.

      • Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

        Do you do his crazy picking on that one? I can pull it off maybe half the time. Depends on how agile my fingers feel at the time.

  7. VolAlongTheWatchTower says

    Happy Birthday to St. Robert of Hibbing!

    “…yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free..” JUST for starters….

  8. Radagast says

    Give me the whole Blood on the Tracks album. A little tangled up in blue on my guitar – me and Dylan both share one thing in common – we can’t sing….

  9. WenatcheeTheHatchet says

    It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry is one of my favorites. I used to have all of Desolation Row memorized (back when I had all of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock memorized) but that was a long time ago!

  10. I think his faith does not look like modern American evangelicalism, but I think it’s still there and regularly bubbles up in songs. I think it’s evident on the last few albums. There’s a line in Thunder on the Mountain that says “Some sweet day I’ll stand beside my King.” Lines like that crop up pretty often if you’re looking for them.

  11. Cunnudda says


  12. My favourite album of his is ‘Infidels’. Interesting.

  13. mountainguy says

    I’d like to add another song: “Masters of war”

  14. Dylan ‘can’ sing. Pavarotti can sing. It’s all relative. I myself, while I know Pavarotti is a phenomenal voice, prefer the gritty, soulful whine of one of the best lyricists of all time. Big deal if he can’t ‘sing’ … it’s the poet that’s the “soul” of any song sung … blue. Neil Diamond can’t sing either, especially in his ‘old age’… but always dug him too. Blood on the Tracks … BEST! I really like his Oh MERCY album! — We Live In A Political World and Ring Them Bells. Oh yeah! Rock on, D.!

    • A friend of mine says, “If Bob Dylan can sing, anybody can sing.”

    • Bob Dylan doesn’t have a great voice, but he is a great singer in the sense that he’s good at using what he has. He can deliver lines with real force and emotion.

    • And I like Oh Mercy too. It’s sort of a bridge between 70s Dylan and the grimmer old-man albums. My favorites are Most of the Time and Man in the Long Black Coat.