The Times They Are A-Changin’

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Come gather ’round 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 youIs worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
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 tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
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
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the landAnd don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For 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’.

For some reason I had a dream last night that incorporated this song. As I later pondered what Dylan said it occurred to me that this song, amongst all the others, was prophetic.

Prophetic in the sense that the times we were going through when he wrote the song, and the period since, have changed what was into a time that has shaken our windows and rattled our walls, unlike any period in history.

Our sons and our daughters (generally speaking) are beyond our control, and the line is drawn and the curse it is cast. What was will never be again.

Depending on which side of the line one is on, the perspective is different. How did Dylan know how rapidly the times were changing? Was he hoping or guessing, or did he have some insight (drug induced, perhaps?) that those of us less into the culture of the day didn’t have?

If the case was that some of us were so wrapped up in our own little world that we didn’t pay attention then, what can we make of what is happening in our world today?

What are you thoughts with respect to what Dylan wrote?

3 thoughts on “The Times They Are A-Changin’

  1. People do get wrapped up in their own little world. And church members are no different then the rest of the world. I was at a church welfare seminar last week and when the speaker (the head of the CW from SLC) asked how many people had their 72 hour kits and or at least a 1 month food and water storage only a small handful put their hand up. When asked why, one man said that the church was there to help so why store all that stuff!!!!

    When an emergency hits here he will be the first one at the Bishop’s door pounding on it demanding assistance. People assume that there won’t be anything bad happen in their lifetime so would rather go unprepared then to face their own reality and mortality.

    Life is in the fast lane.. techology has far surpassed anything anyone could have ever imagined. You look at Joseph Smith’s days… had someone told him how fast you could get from one county to another county he would have shaken his head. Even if he did get revelation from God, there is no way even he could have understood what was coming.

  2. Great post Larry,

    There was a plethora of “prophets” at the time–Dylan being one of the foremost. Just about every upcoming recording artist at the time had something to say about changing social conditions. I think some of the “prophesying” was of the self-fullfilling kind–not to lessen the gift of foresight that some may have been blessed with. I say self-fullfilling because there was a spirit of rebellion that undergirded the whole movement. The prophetic shouts were really the expressions of a hopeful angst for the destruction of older values.

    I think the change was inevitable primarily because western morality was never completely founded upon pure religion. And a moral code bereft it’s of religious roots will soon decline into an (almost) arbitrary imposition of socially acceptable “values”. The horror of such is that one doesn’t know where to run in order to find a sincere reason for adhering to such values. So (imo) there was an inevitable explosion, a busting loose from those values. The problem with that explosion is that the hopeful rebels, in their unmitigated anger, overturned everything good as well as bad from the previous generation in their search for sincerity. And to this day have not found what they were looking for because of their prejudice against the “old” which is where the pearls of sincerity are really to be found. The old just needed some (vigorous) cleaning off–not a complete annihilation.


  3. Good point,Jack. I wonder if any of the old values will come around after the current generation gets through all the drugs they are using and finding no satisfaction in them?
    Will this be a case of what comes around goes around?

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