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Blowin' In The Wind by Bob Dylan

Album: The Freewheelin' Bob DylanReleased: 1963
  • How many roads must a man walk down
    Before you call him a man
    How many seas must a white dove sail
    Before she sleeps in the sand
    Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
    Before they're forever banned
    The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
    The answer is blowin' in the wind

    Yes, 'n' how many years can a mountain exist
    Before it's washed to the sea
    Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
    Before they're allowed to be free
    Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
    And pretend that he just doesn't see
    The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
    The answer is blowin' in the wind

    Yes, 'n' how many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky
    Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry
    Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
    That too many people have died
    The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
    The answer is blowin' in the windWriter/s: BOB DYLAN
    Publisher: Bob Dylan Music
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 52

Bob Dylan did acknowledge that the song derives from the negro spiritual "No more auction block." Per Wikipedia from an album liner notes:
"In his sleeve notes for The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991, John Bauldie wrote that Pete Seeger first identified the melody of "Blowin' in the Wind" as an adaptation of the old African-American spiritual "No More Auction Block/We Shall Overcome". According to Alan Lomax's The Folk Songs of North America, the song originated in Canada and was sung by former slaves who fled there after Britain abolished slavery in 1833. In 1978, Dylan acknowledged the source when he told journalist Marc Rowland: "'Blowin' in the Wind' has always been a spiritual. I took it off a song called 'No More Auction Block' – that's a spiritual and 'Blowin' in the Wind' follows the same feeling."[7] Dylan's performance of "No More Auction Block" was recorded at the Gaslight Cafe in October 1962, and appeared on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.
Mary Helen - Home
On August 20th 1966, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, and the Temptations performed at the Forest Hills Music Festival in Queens, New York; attendance was 14,000 concert goers...
At the time of the concert Stevie Wonder's "Blowin' in the Wind" was at #11 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eight days later on August 28th it would peak at #9 {for 1 week}...
The Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love" was at #28, and on September 4th it would reach #1 {for 2 weeks}...
The Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" was sitting at #42, five weeks earlier it had peaked at #13 {for 1 week} on the Top 100, but on the R&B Singles chart it had reached #1 for 8 non-consecutive weeks...
And the Temps next release, "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep", had just entered the Top 100 chart at #80; eventually it would peak at #3 on the Top 100 and at #1 {for 5 weeks} on the R&B Singles chart.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On July 17th 1966, "Blowin' In The Wind" by Stevie Wonder entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #68; and on August 28th, 1966 it peaked at #9 (for 1 week) and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100...
And on August 21st, 1966 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart (it was his 2nd R&B #1 record of 1966, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" remained at #1 for 5 weeks)....
On the Top 100, his next release, "A Place In The Sun", would also peak at #9 and stay on the chart for 11 weeks...
Mr. Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Judkins, celebrated his 64th birthday two months ago on May 13th, 2014.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On June 23rd 1963, "Blowin' in the Wind" by Peter, Paul, and Mary entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #86; and on August 11th it peaked at #2 (for 1 week) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
And on May 5th it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
The week it was at #2, the #1 record was "Fingertips (Part 2)" by Little Stevie Wonder...
The song was the trio's 2nd straight release that peaked at #2, "Puff, the Magic Dragon" reached the runner-up spot on May 5th, 1963...
R.I.P. Mary Travers (1936 - 2009).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Interesting facts.Lane - Lansing, Ia
"The ants are my friends..."Johnny - Pomona, Ca
This is the kind of songs that you feel wasn't written by man, but was always known by humans even before it was written...as if it was just carried on from Adam and Eve to the following generations.Matt - Galway, Ireland
hey charlie from, Thomaston, CT, Dylan and Morrison were 2 very diffrent poets who wrote about very diffrent things. one is not better than the other! not even.Nick - Seattle, Albania
To the folks who make comments like, "he can't carry a tune" or "he can't sing", you are simply wrong. The measure of a singer's ability to "carry a tune" involves their correctly hitting each note and maintaining the tempo of the song. Everything else they do is what defines their particular style. If you don't like it, don't listen. The only thing the people who go out their way to post "They Suck" comments do is make themselves look like an idiots.Dj - Hope, Nj
this song poses philosophical questions about what it means to be free and what it takesJackie - Jersey, Az
Can't believe the amount of people on here insulting Bob's singing or his songwriting.

The singing, as shown by the X Factor/American Idol/Girls Aloud any fat idiot from a supermarket can hit the right notes, but it takes a genius to communicate. Bob is one of the best communicators, his voice isn't the best, but when you hear it, you hear the emotion, and you are influenced. Bob showed you don't need a conventional voice to sing rock and roll, Hendrix never considered himself a possible singer until he heard Bob.
And as for insulting his songwriting, go back to listening to some simpletons, Blink 182 I suggest?
Chris - Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
cliff richard did a pretty good version of this song on his album "kinda latin" in the mid-sixtiesMark - Dublin, Ireland
This song was brilliant and relevant in 1963, is brilliant and relevant today, and will be just as brilliant and just as relevant 1000 years from now.Jay - Brooklyn, Ny
I'd have to agree that Dylan's voice is lacking in the nasal and is more growly-old-manish these days (saw a concert last year), but this is a beautiful song, I dont care how long it took him to write:)Nady - Adelaide, Australia
The words are unimaginative - it sounds like he wrote them in 10 minutes. And that voice is scratchy and annoying. I'm amazed that artists such as Tom Petty and Bob Dylan made it as far as they did, given their inability to carry a tune in a bucket. In recent years, Dylan's appears lack of vocal abilities seems to be accentuated by his old age.Mike - Nyc, Ny
bob dylan didn't have a bad voice it was just differnt than the rock of the time.Hunter - Cincinnati, Oh
Sesamee Street used this tune a couple times, mainly to learn how to count and learn numbers.Henry - Baltimore, Md
Bob Dylan can't sing for toffee.Giveusakiss - Geelong, Australia
Sam Cooke's version is very well done...i usually dislike covers but i think if there was a recording of them doing this song together,wow.Nathan - From The Country Of, Canada
What is the meaning of life?-To hear Bob Dylan
Why are we here?^^^
Is there a God?-Yes...Bob Dylan-Good Answer
What are we doing here? Not too much, I gotta admit
Will there ever be peace? With the lack of hippies I'm gonna have to say no
Are we alone in this universe? Well does E.T. count?
What's right? Bob Dylan
What's wrong? Bob....Phylan
What is eternity?Bob Dylan's music ?:D-Good Answer

Those are my answers...
Josh - Toronto
Another super rendition of this song is done superbly by Neil Young and CrazyHorse off the WELD Album. Lots of emotion pours out of his voice. Super Song!!Alan - Milwaukee, Wi
this song is genius, dylan wants us to want to know what this song means, but it seems so wierd and obscure when the real meaning of the song is BLOWING IN THE WIND, while all the answers to our problems are just blowing in the wind, we are just to dumb to realize itJohn - Jupiter, Fl
this is the best song in history by the best singer songwriter in history! amazing stuffDavid - Merseyside, England
The song's version in the Forrest Gump movie was a cover by Joan Baez (who was also romantically involved with Bob Dylan for some time).Ankur - Delhi, India
I've never heard Stevie Wonder's version, but I have heard the original Peter Paul and Mary's version, both of which are great.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
i like bob dylans voice. its perfect. bob dylan is godAngie - The Sky, United States
i wish i could have seen bob dylan and peter paul and mary all on ticketKyle - King George, Va
When "We Are The World, USA for Africa" was at it's most popular me and a friend in my high school typing class used to alternate, singing all the parts in a close approximation of each artist's voice including Dylan. I think the song was many young people's first exposure to Dylan back in the early 1980s. Of course, we were all mocking him. I remember my language arts teacher giving us a little lecture about Dylan's influence. Made me think. Personally, I first heard Dylan in the 70s with Knocking on Heaven's Door and Lay Lady Lay. This song is sung in several episodes of the TV show Gomer Pyle.James - Vidalia, Ga
I think of the Vietnam War every time I hear this song even though he wrote it before the war started.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Indeed, my sence of humor was peaking in the last post.

But, I could not leave this song without saying that I believe that the wind Dylan speaks of is, of course, time.

In time, all answers shall be given to us, as human beeings, and as Humanity.
Alpheous - Gaia, Portugal
What is the meaning of life?Why are we here? Is there a God? What are we doing here? Will there ever be peace? Are we alone in this universe? What's right? What's wrong? What is eternity?

Natacha!I have the answrs to those questions!
"What is the meaning of life?"R: life(noum), period of activity of plants and animals,existence,movement, heat,animation,origin.

"Why are we here?"R:To find facts of songs we like, that's what we can find in www.songfacts.com!!!

"Is there a God?"R: No, here there is no God. Maybe if you look on the other side..."

"What are we doing here?"R: I believe I have already answered that. Please see the response to "Why are we here?".

"Will there ever be peace?"R:Actually, it's very peaceful over here, in my office. So, yes, there is peace here!

"Are we alone in the universe?"R: I,ve seen some people outsime of this site, including my parents and friends, and much more people...so, we are not alone here :), fortunatly.

"What's right?" R: right is something that you are intitled of. It's something or some action that you can take or have in a legitim(is it well written?) way.

"What is wrong?"R: Wrong is the opposite to accurate, correct.

"What is eternity?"R: Eternity, for men. Kelvin Clein. Is a perfume. Smells very good too. I believe it's also available for women.

There you go. Stop looking in the wing, or you'll get sick!
Alpheous - Gaia, Portugal
This was the song that put folk-rock on the map. I also enjoyed Peter,Paul and Mary's version. Also memorable was Stevie Wonder's gospel-like rendition.Howard - St. Louis Park, Mn
Probably the most important song of the generation because it opened up the eyes of the youth of america and really showed them things might not be going as good as they thoughtKyle - Eglewood, Co
i agree with those who like Dylan's voice...it is PERFECT for the kind of music he does which is folk/blues based rock. a "prettier" voice does not work for the blues in my opinion because the blues is supposed to sound rough, gruff, earthy...well, pretty much like Bob Dylan sounds!Jerrybear - Flint, Mi
Yes his voice goes perfectly with his music. He has an honesty to him. It's very refreshing.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Bob Dylan has unique voice. For me he stood out becuase of his voise and ofcourse unmatchable lyrics. It's part of what of he brings. Without his voice, for me, he'd lose his story telling ability. Growing up, I always used to critize his voice whenever my dad played him in the car. But I've learnt to accept his voice which is perfect for his music. It's just perfect. Clear, refreshing and can effortlessly grip the listener. It has an unexplainalbe appealShmyla - Lahore, Pakistan
This is #14 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.Ross - Independence, Mo
Brilliant song, of course. But listen to the version on his "Live from Budokan" CD. About 12 years after the original, he takes a different approach which is more heartfelt and moving than the original.Jerry - Brooklyn, Ny
In the strip club scene of Forrest Gump, Jenny is wearing a thong... dont question me on Forrest Gump, i know everything.Steve - Troy, Ny
Bob Dylan's voice may irritate some, but I find it rather pleasant. There is no denying that he is a poet, the lyrics and the song itself are what matters, not how good of a voice the singer has. Look at some other musical geniuses whose voices may irritate some:

Ray Davies
Pete Townshend
Roy Wood
Frank Zappa
Lou Reed

Like I said before, it's all about the song itself, not the "quality" of the voice, as that is totally subjective to the listener.
Matthew - Palos Park, Il
Bob is by far the poet of the times, his works will be remembered forever, children will learn of him 100's of years from now as we learned of the sophicles and aristotle. His voice is a unique voice you either like it or you dont. Also as natasha said dylan didnt focus on the voice he was all about the lyrics. Altough dylan doesnt like to admit it he led the 60's revolution with songs of corruption in the gov't and justice system. Like i said the poet of our time. Just for a tip i dont like to admit it but bobby went down hill in his music style, i reccomend only up to blonde on blonde or blood on the tracks, highway 61 revised is also a good album but his early works were masterpiecesClapton - San Fran , Ca
another rant about the singing comment! To reinforce what two said before me, I'll say it again. IN CAPS!! BOB DYLAN HAD A GREAT SINGING VOICE!!Sol - Dallas, Tx
dylan was a great poet, certainly better than jim morrison!Charlie - Thomaston, Ct
The answer to every unanswerable question is blowin' in the wind. What is the meaning of life?Why are we here? Is there a God? What are we doing here? Will there ever be peace? Are we alone in this universe? What's right? What's wrong? What is eternity?..........Natasha - Chico, Ca
What?!Are you saying Bob Dylan can't sing?:-0 First of all, his voice is very unique and soothing, and second of all, his music isn't all about the voice, it's about the lyrics, the messages portrayed. He's so incredibly talented! Love ya BOB!Natasha - Chico, Ca
Allen Ginsberg once said Dylan is the best poet of the 20th Century.Kieran - Harlow, United States
"it's just such a shame he couldn't sing very well."
i disagree, while dylan may not have had the prettiest of voices he definently had one of the most unique in the music business and i for one love it.
Mason - San Antonio, Tx
This was covered by "Green Acres" star Eddie Albert, and is included on the first "Golden Throats" compilation of horrible recordings of hits by actors/celebrities. Albert's version is a gleeful romp that sounds as if it was arranged by Frank DeVol (Brady Bunch theme).John - Seattle, Wa
if you listen to the song and think about it, it could be an anti-war song. Indeed, the war in vietnam didn't really start raging until the later 60's, but at the time he wrote it, American troops where over there. Uh, weren't they? I'm pretty sure they were.Sol - Dallas, Tx
This is such a beutiful song. I jst love Bob Dylan he wrote such fantastic lyrics it's just such a shame he couldn't sing very well.Anonymous
I think of my good friend Phil Johnson when I hear this song, this was one Phil's favorite Dylan songs.

Philip S. Johnson 03/26/55 ~ 01/12/03
Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a novel by Douglas Adams, a race of Hyperdimensioanl beings find out that the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. They made the Earth to find out the actual question. Sadly, the Earth was destroyed to make way for a highway. So they made up a question for the answer". What was it? "How many roads must a man walk down?"Hac Barton - Las Vegas, Nv
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