The Times They Are A-Changin’ at 50

Wednesday, 12 February, 2014

The Times They Are a-Changin’, the third studio album by Bob Dylan and his first collection to feature only original compositions, was released in 1964. Speaking about the title track, Dylan told the film director Cameron Crowe, “This was definitely a song with a purpose. It was influenced of course by the Irish and Scottish ballads… Come All Ye Bold Highway Men, Come All Ye Tender Hearted Maidens. I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time.”

The Times They Are A-Changin'

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

The Times They Are A-Changin’

The pivotal line of the final verse, “And the first one now will later be last”, has a Biblical ring to it and critics have connected it with the Gospel of Mark, 10:31, “But many that are first shall be last, and the last first.”

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