Come gather around people, wherever you roam / the opening of the song is based on him telling the villagers to gather around him
And admit that the waters around you have grown and accept it, that soon you'll be drenched to the bone / the "waters" Dylan is referring to is used as a metaphor for Social Changes occurring in the 1960's. Major events were happening during this time The Civil Rights Movement, President John F. Kennedy's Assassination. The World had to learn to move on...
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 / This phrase is a warning. If you waste your time fighting the change then you will be left behind . If you are unable to accept and adapt to the new social changes then you will sink.
Come writers and critics, who prophesize with your pen / The "writers and critics" are the media. Prophesize means to predict.
And keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again / Advising them to stay awake because the times are changing so fast that everything should be documented as much as possible.
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 / It is hard to determine if the African American will win their Civil Rights or not.
Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call, don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall, for he that gets hurt, will be he who has stalled / They shouldn't stand in the way of approaching changes. Their efforts are meaningless against the force of the Civil Rights Movements.
There's the battle outside raging, it'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls, For the times they are a-changing / He insinuates the uprisings that occurred during these times. (CRM, Battles/Wars, Riots)
Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don't criticize what you can't understand, 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 / Dylan talks to the mother's and father's from older generations. He doesn't want them to criticize what they understand. They come from older morals/traditions so they shouldn't condemn their children for new concepts they don't understand. If parents were going to be difficult then they should not stand in the way of the movement.
The line it is drawn, the curse is it 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 / Civil Rights Movement has reached a point where it can't be ignored. Significant changes would have to happen in order to satisfy the movement. These significant changes happened the same year the song was released when congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1924.
Biography: Many listeners recognized his music as the Anthem for their movements. He made teenagers interested in poetry, he invented folk rock, he made hall of fame as a songwriter and as a rock and roll. He has won Oscars, Golden Globes and Grammys. He re-defined what was acceptable and possible in pop singing. He's just a hard working man who has a tour that never ends it goes on an on. Dylan recently won the Nobel Prize. Oh and his profound meaningful poems how he plays with words and tells you stories.
Literary Elements: Not only does he initiates real life connections in his lyrics, he also uses literary elements such as repetition to convey his message after every verse he uses " For the times they are a-changing". Dylan uses metaphors when hes relating to an individual "Stone that is sinking or swimming" and when he describes the "battle that is raging". The first verse uses pattern of rhyming with the word roam (grown, bone, stones). The second verse uses call (hall, stalled, walls). Also land, command, hand, understand. He uses a lot of alliteration as well.
Background: Very influential to the peoples views on societyHe wanted to get people to think about the positive sides of the world. To get the world to move on and take actions from all these horrible things happening and make changes to better themselves and their futures.