Bob Dylan: the musician who is perhaps better known for what he can do with a pen, rather than what he can do with a guitar. Maybe the greatest song writing talent to exist and one of the very few to earn a Nobel peace prize for literature. Whether you’re a flower power child from the 60s or you grew up whipping and nae naeing, it’s probable that you will have heard his songs… On the radio or maybe you’re a fan!

I first discovered Dylan leafing through my Dad’s old record collection; a child of the 60s well versed in everything from Sid Vicious to Springsteen. In my younger years it was like digging for gold, rifling through the sleeves and picture disks, completely enamoured with the music and the culture that came with it. While I was digging through old punk records… Sex Pistols, the Clash, you name it my Dad probably had it! I found this old dusty record. An old pressing of Bob Dylan’s the Times They Are A Changing album. 

I remember hearing the track during the intro to Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (2009) and thought to myself this might just be the gold rush I’m looking for! After sticking the record on the turntable I found that the Dylan vein I’d discovered was overwhelmingly lucrative! His music touched me, but what the then young man of 22 years had to say blew me away further… 

The voice cut through my adolescent ears and ever since that intergenerational understanding Bob Dylan has been a huge part of my life! Here are ten of my favourite Dylan quotes which I think are applicable to everything… writing, reading, music… The lot! 

Behind Every Beautiful Thing, There is Some Kind of Pain

Everything we create is a product of our experience and our being. True beauty comes from a place of suffering, rising above and becoming triumphant of pain and suffering is the most beautiful thing in the world. Art is an expression like language, our art whether we write books or paint pictures needs to encapsulate emotion, positive and negative. 

He not Busy Being Born is Busy Dying

Although a nihilistic statement, a true one nonetheless. If we are not reinventing and developing as people we aren’t busy doing anything other than dying. A very bleak way to express an opinion but an effective way of showing us that we need to get busy with the time we have. If we don’t, what are we really doing?   

You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which way the Wind Blows

Sometimes our own intuition is far more valuable than what anyone else has to say. Relying on a strong sense of intuition will help us navigate relationships and make crucial decisions for reasons that matter to us not other people. With a bit of sense we are capable of finding out these things on our own.

There Are no Depressed Words, Just Depressed Minds

Negativity comes from one place and that is our mind, people can say whatever they want to us and likewise we can say whatever we want but our mind is the place where we can take stock and remain positive. Knowing what to say is not as important as knowing what to think. 

I Think Women Rule the World and That no man has Ever Done Anything That a Women Either hasn’t Allowed him to do or Encouraged him to do

Feminism in the 1960s took the United States by storm. Women have a huge amount of influence in the world over men, whether they are Mothers, Sisters, Wives or quite simply friends. Men should listen to them, me included! If it wasn’t for my Mother and Sister I wouldn’t have done multiple things in my life which have brought me joy and success.  

Some People Feel the Rain Others Just get wet 

Some people truly live their lives; feel the pitter patter of rain, every sting of heartache, every knock and bump… But they also feel every pleasure too, big or small. We should remember we are alive and feel every emotion that comes our way. Positive or negative it’s all part of life.  

No one is Free, Even the Birds are Chained to the sky

We can never shake what we are. Through reinvention we can try but we will always be ourselves. Our organic mindset and personality always prevails. Just as birds are chained to the sky, many are chained to a keyboard or the pen. As writers we are chained to our craft although we love it we will never be free.   

You can Never be Wise and in Love at the Same Time 

Logic and emotion don’t mix, we can try and make decisions with our head and separate from our heart but if we are emotionally involved we can’t use logic. The heart will always win as emotion is the strongest force in our brains… A primal instinct designed to keep us alive, keep us comfortable and in control.   

What do you Think? 

You can tell I’m a huge Bob Dylan fan, but what about you? Did you find these quotes helpful or inspiring? Let me know down in the comments!