The Times, They Are A-changin' Interpretation by Shane Miller

Bob Dylan is a modern bard, delivering powerful messages to anyone who would hear him. He was very well-versed in the ways of life, and his pure, simplistic writing style works to communicate with a wider audience. In his most infamous work, The Times, They Are A-Changin', Dylan comments on the nature of growing up in a world where political views are constantly shifting.

Come gather around people.
Wherever you roam.
And admit that the waters,
Around you have grown.

This first part is calling to anyone who would listen. It acknowledges that things are more serious than when we were children.

And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
And if your breath to you is worth saving
Then you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changing

Here, Dylan is saying, that anyone who can't accept the changes and grow with them is doomed to be swept up in them. It's important to change with the times.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again

Here, he's saying that it is important to document the changes to which we bear witness. It's important that those who can write and shape the minds of the people do so.

And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no telling who that it's naming
For the loser now will be later to win
Cause the times they are a-changing

Nothing will be the same again. So it's really important that you respect others, because you never know who's going to be on top in the end.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall

To those in power, it is important to allow progress to happen. It's important to adapt the changes in the people you represent.

For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's the battle outside raging
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changing

The changes in the world cannot be avoided. While the leaders go out and wage wars against one another, innocent people are then forced to fight their battles.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand

Some people are different than you. It's important to remember not to judge someone for being different. If people could accept each other's differences, the world would be a much happier place.

Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand
Cause the times they are a-changing

There comes a time in one's life when they need to let go of those in their care. They're ready to go off and face the world for themselves. The young people are the future of the world, and will end up making some changes you won't agree with.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slowest now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fading
And the first one now will later be last
Cause the times they are a-changing

Everything will eventually change. It's important to know when it's time to give up your own power to give it to someone more deserving.

All in all, Dylan writes with simplistic lyrics and a humble goal. He simply wishes to create a positive change in a world that has been nothing but cruel and heartless. Bob Dylan serves as the poetic voice of change in the world to this day. He has more than earned his Nobel Prize for writing.


Created with images by badosa - "Bob Dylan"

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