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Item 536 - Bob Dylan Catalog 555 (May 2019)

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Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Sold Price: $69,515.00 (includes buyer's premium)


Amazing and exceedingly rare handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan for his iconic political anthem, "The Times They Are-a-Changin'," one page, 8.5 x 11, written in black ballpoint and neatly signed at the conclusion, "Bob Dylan." In very fine condition. The consignor notes that this was originally purchased directly from Dylan's manager, Jeff Rosen.

The classic lyrics read, in full:

"Come gather around people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth saving
Then you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are-a-changin'

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide the chance won't come again
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
For the times they are-a-changin'

Come senators congressmen please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway don't block up the hall
He that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside and it's raging
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are-a-changin'

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
Get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand
For the times they are-a-changin'

The line it is drawn and 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 fading
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are-a-changing."

Considered one of the greatest songs ever written, these powerful lyrics have transcended the political turbulence of the 1960s that gave birth to them to inspire subsequent generations, revealing their timelessness in the human experience. In recent years, Dylan has shied away from playing his masterpiece in concert which has imbued it with an almost mythical quality.

Dylan wrote the song in the fall of 1963, shortly after Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington, wanting to create an anthem for social justice. As he said, folk music and the Civil Rights movement were natural allies and he felt he could make a contribution to the movement by writing a powerful, 'hypnotic' anthem. It is one of the songs that earned Dylan a Nobel Prize in Literature, as the Nobel Committee recognized him 'for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.'

An incredible piece which not only memorializes the massive social changes of the era in which it was written, but also the social movements to come—fifty years after Dylan wrote it, "The Times They Are-a-Changin'" continues to vibrate with new meaning.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


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