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...

Find Another Essay On Bob Dylan: Like A Rolling Stone

Bob dylan: a classic Essay

891 words - 4 pages listening to the light repetitive tune and figurative language, The cleverness of the language is hat people can read almost anything into it, the most basic example being Mr. Tambourine Man, who can be seen as anything from a drug dealer to a religious man to Bob Dylan himself. Another reason that the song has such a hallucinogenic feeling is the structure of the song. The verses are made up of what appears to be many individual concepts put together, like a dream, giving a surreal effect.

A Folk Legend: Bob Dylan Essay

1287 words - 6 pages “The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind the answer is blowin' in the wind.” These famous lyrics are what gave the Civil Rights Movement support through a music stand point. Bob Dylan helped with the progression of the civil rights movements through many different ways. He wrote songs about deaths of public figures and strikes during the civil rights movement, and he stood as a public figure in support of it. Bob Dylan was born on May 24

Bob Dylan: The Voice of a Generation

1318 words - 5 pages quality of Dylan's songwriting has deteriorated, but he still remains one of the most active musicians on tour, and one would be hard-pressed to think of an artist who is more respected by his contemporaries than Dylan. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine polled a panel of musicians, critics and industry figures, who in turn named Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" the greatest song ever written. It is no understatement for one to state that Dylan

Essay using Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan to explain electric cooperatives. Won an award and me a trip to D.C.

983 words - 4 pages The Cooperative/Public Power Advantageby Jessica ShelbyThe stage was set and the band was ready. The date was May 17, 1966; the place was Free Trade Hall in Manchester England. The infamous Bob Dylan took to the stage to open the Newport Folk Festival. However, a foreign instrument was in Mr. Dylan's hands; it was an electric guitar. Dylan began strumming the tune to "Like a Rolling Stone," but his once so faithful followers had turned on him

Pushing Through a Hard Rain: Classification of Bob Dylan as a Poet through his song "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"

1347 words - 5 pages with rhyme"(63) leads him to make bad rhymes that take away from the quality of the work. He stands firmly that Dylan is a songwriter and not a poet. I disagree. Based on the quality of the lyrics, Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" functions as great poetry.Dylan's lyrics for "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" qualify as great poetry due to the powerful use of imagery that evokes emotion. Western Wind by David Mason and John Frederick Nims

Bob Dylan Poetry Assignment: Make a list of the works to the author, write about their life, analyse one of their works, write about the themes they use and distinctive qualities of the works.

1223 words - 5 pages #12 And #352. Bob Dylan's life.Bob Dylan was born in 1941 to the name of Robert Zimmerman. He was born and he grew up in Minnesota. At the age of six he had learned how to play guitar, piano and the harmonica. He formed a rock n roll band while in high school however they broke up in 1959 after graduation. Robert Zimmerman went to University of Minnesota to study arts. While in college he began preforming folk songs at coffee houses under the name

Bob Dylan's Success.

1174 words - 5 pages had taught himself to play guitar. He later changed his name from Robert Allen Zimmerman to the famous name Bob Dylan. In 1962 Bob visited his big early influence Woodie Guthrie in the hospital. Finally Bob Dylan got to meet him and become friends with his lost idol who was slowly dying of Huntington's disease in Morristown, New Jersey, Dylan had written him a song called song to Woody. A famous quote from this song is "Bout a funny old world

Bob Dylan's Impact on Popular Music

1340 words - 5 pages Greenwich emulating his idol. He was given a 5 year contract by Columbia Records in 1961 and Bob Dylan released his first album in 1962 which consisted of mostly cover songs and only two original works. This was just the beginning of the rolling stone that is Bob Dylan, and how he forever changed and left such an influential impact on popular music. Bob Dylan's second album, released in 1963, shone as the metaphorical light on the path, presented

Bob Dylan

3626 words - 15 pages Bob Dylan "When I was fifteen and I heard 'Like a Rolling Stone,' I heard a guy like I've never heard before or since. A guy that had the guts to take on the whole world and make me feel like I had 'em too..." - Bruce Springsteen The Grammy Awards ceremony in 1991 was not all that different from those which preceded it. A crowded auditorium littered with the beautiful people of Hollywood and the music industry once again gathered in Los

Bob Dylan

2800 words - 11 pages concert, but he had made the transition from folk to rock, and many of his fans would never forget that, or forgive him for it. However, the fans that Dylan lost that year were gained back in the rock community, and he became more successful than ever. By the end of 1965, he and the Band went on tour, and his first major hit, "Like a Rolling Stone" climbed to #2 on the charts. From that point on, Bob Dylan revolutionized rock music. His

Jimi Hendrix

767 words - 3 pages Along the Watchtower” a song known to all, a song especially meaningful to that day and age, and a song the will forever be involved in the discussion of the greatest songs in the history of rock n’ roll.Works citedAll Along the Watchtower. Feb. 15, 2008. Rolling Stone 21 July. 2004: 23-25.Sheila Whiteley Popular Music, Vol. 9, No. 1. (Jan., 1990), pp. 37-60.Stable URL:, Albin J. “Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix: Juxtapoistion and Transformation ‘All Along the Watchtower’,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 57:3 (Fall 2004) p. 599-644

Similar Essays

How Does The Song "Like A Rolling Stone" By Bob Dylan Relate To The Concept Of Change

1002 words - 4 pages Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan is about a lady who was once a wealthy upper class citizen with the luxuries of being in a position of riches but is now nothing more then a homeless person. This song is about how life can change so suddenly and how taking and becoming addicted to drugs can destroy your life completely. The girl in this song was given the best of the best opportunities to make it easier to succeed, money dresses etc. but this

"Like A Rolling Stone", Analysis Of Bob Dylan's Song.

1439 words - 6 pages alliteration. "But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe" (line 48). The phrase, "Napoleon in rags" in line 50 is an example of synecdoche for all people of power and money who have fallen from their place in society."Like a Rolling Stone," by Bob Dylan attempts to teach a lesson to the listener using different tales of woe. Many of Dylan's songs are meant to be didactic, and I think this is mainly because Dylan was a folk singer

Like A Rolling Stone Essay

1632 words - 7 pages Protest singer, poetic genius, and a song and dance man; Bob Dylan influenced both popular music and popular culture for more than five decades. Although often reduced to a nasally-voiced guitar player who cannot carry a tune, Dylan mesmerized a nation with his musical genius since the early 60s. His artistic talents posed opportunities for creativity in the music industry and proved that a singer does not need a beautiful voice in

Like A Rolling Stone Essay

722 words - 3 pages Rockabilly did and made it totally different thing; a new style of rock emerged. Another term at this time during rock is Beatlemania. After Beatlemania began, bands like The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Cream started to lead the music world. While these bands were ruling the world, other genres were starting to begin like progressive rock, and heavy metal. After the Vietnam War in the 70s, the people started to settle down. As a result, so