Troubador Bob Dylan: What the Songs Mean

Released: 28/11/2019

ISBN: 9781838591731

eISBN: 9781838597559

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Bob Dylan: What the Songs Mean


The meaning of Bob Dylan’s songs has long been debated by fans, critics and academics. When, in 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the significance of his songs was confirmed. Yet their meaning has never been demonstrably explained. Dylan himself has said that people can learn everything about him through his songs: “if they know where to look.” This book shows his millions of fans exactly where that is. 

Dylan has written hundreds of songs, many of which are acknowledged masterpieces. “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “Like a Rolling Stone”, “Mr.Tambourine Man”, the list goes on. In the 1960s, he was hailed as a prophet.  Since then, he’s generally been considered a genius.  One thing he’s always been, though, is an enigma.  In Bob Dylan: What the Songs Mean, critic Michael Karwowski analyses the lyrics. In the process, he opens up all sorts of avenues into philosophy, mysticism, religion, literature, art, and, of course, music.

This is a “must read” book for anyone who wants to learn more about the meaning behind the songs or anyone interested in understanding how a genius sees the world. It also considers the impact Dylan’s words have had - not only on his fans, but on the worlds of popular music, culture and beyond.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I downloaded this book, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how exhaustive and extensive it was. I absolutely love art history books, and this felt like that, but on a different subject matter. Obviously, Dylan fans should pick it up, but I also think it will be a good fit for pop culture fans. and fans of history, musical or otherwise. What an interesting find!

by Paloma

Absolutely intriguing! I’ve listened to Bob Dylan all my life and it is wonderful to find out more about the lyrics and meanings to his words! A must read for all Dylan fans!

by Irene

Comprehensive and detailed review of Bob Dylan's work by Michael Karwowski.

by Dr Irena

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