Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I’m not sure what to think about this. It’s difficult for me to be objective about Bob Dylan. So much stuff gets in the road. I remember Bob when he and I were both kids, so there’s a lot of old man nostalgia going on — and my hindsight isn’t even close to 20/20. I’m not suggesting he shouldn’t have won — poetry shouldn’t be confined to the rhyming couplet and the quill pen. Singer/songwriters are still writers, after all, and of all the Rod McKuens, Leonard Cohens and Joni Mitchells my generation produced, no one deserves a Nobel Prize more than Bob Dylan. But I can’t help thinking that if he’d been toiling away with pen and paper instead of guitar and harmonica — well — regardless of how good Bob Dylan really is, I’m not sure The Swedish Academy would have come calling.
But here is the music with the lyrics — you decide. And then I’ll let Joan Baez speak for me because, like her, if the Nobel Prize people are offering me nostalgia — I’ve already paid.