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Bob Dylan: Like A Rolling Stone

1694 words - 7 pages

Dylan 2 ?Like A Rolling Stone? ? Bob Dylan Often referred to as the most influential American singer/songwriter, in the history of folk rock, Bob Dylan proves his lyrical genius through rhetorical mastery and ability to recreate the essence of folk history with modern day events ?Like a Rolling Stone? is a song of epic proportion not only to society, but also to the music industry. To understand the impact this song has on society, the basics of why this song was written, what the lyrics stand for, and what makes this song still popular today must first be understood. The importance to the music industry can be achieved by analyzing the conventions of folk rock that Dylan is both able to fulfill and at the same time break in this song.To understand the song as a whole, it needs to be established as to why this song was written. This song literally, is a reflection of Dylan?s own life, and metaphorically, a warning to others. This song also serves as a self-therapeutic way for Dylan to deal with his own rejection, the best way he knows how. This song explores the importance of being aware of success and power; to respect and to be certain not forget where you have come from. Dylan proposes that when you fall from the ranks, as we so often do, there is always someone there to point out that you are no longer on top, as stated by the rhetorical question, ?How does it feel?? An in your face statement, empathizing while at the same time, exposing his own feelings.Dylan 3 The lyrics of this piece are absolutely essential as to the understanding of the song. Contradiction of the simplicity of lyrics at times and the complexity of lyrics at others make this piece masterful. The journey begins with the song title. ?Like a Rolling Stone?, suggesting that a ?rolling stone gathers no moss?, almost in a positive manner. In the context of the song, a rolling stone suggests a once stationary stable ?stone? which has now become unglued, rolling further away from certainty. The journey begins, with a woman, and a man, learning life?s lessons the hard luck way. The lyrics are presented in such a manner that it is obvious that there is much more to what is being sung then first meets the eye. In the first stanza, Dylan begins the story of a girl who, ?Once upon a time you dressed so fine/You threw the bums a dime, didn?t you?? Illustrating a girl who once waltzed through life thinking only of herself, and selfishly bypassing the walks of everyday life. The song continues, ?People?d call, say, Beware doll, you?re bound to fall/ you thought they were all kiddin?ya?. Indicating that Dylan tried to warn her to beware, this ?good life? is not going to last and will likely be stripped from her. She chooses to ignore this warning, as so many do in the pursuit of high power.Moving on to the second stanza, Dylan explains, ?You?ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely? meaning she?s been a socialite, associating with the powerful status symbols of society, all the...

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