Bob Dylan Junkies
In Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” ranks No. 1. Many of his songs have been covered by a lot of artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, The Bryds, Eric Clapton, U2, Guns and Roses, Neil Young, and many others. Featuring profound lyrics, Bob Dylan has written songs that are timeless, provocative, poetic, and life-changing. For the Dylan junky, learning to play his songs on a accoustic guitar can be a most rewarding experience. The chords of his songs are very easy to master, though, remembering the lyrics may be much tougher, and blowing that wind instrument is another matter altogether. Here are the guitar chords to some of Bob Dylan’s most popular songs:
- Blowin’ in the Wind: Hailed as an anthem for peace, it has launched the careers of Peter, Paul and Mary, and in countries as far reaching as Singapore, this song has been taught in schools.
- Girl of the North Country: A great song to sing after breaking-up with a girlfriend, especially if she has hair that hangs long, rolling and flowing, down her breast. One of the best versions is Dylan’s duet with Johnny Cash.
- Masters of War: It’s rare when you hear a singer cursing the listener but Dylan’s done it, at the warmongers, nevertheless.
- Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right: When love is souring and you are too wrecked to suggest a parting, singing this song may be a good idea.
- A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall: A song with apocalyptic undertones, it’s a visionary statement of despair and gloom. When the surviving members of the Beat Generation heard this, they wept. It’s that real.
- The Times They Are A-Changing: You will hear the full version of this song at the beginning of the graphic novel movie “Watchmen”. Somehow, it makes perfect sense.
- With God on Our Side: Another one of Dylan’s protest songs (though he always maintained he wasn’t protesting), With God on Our Side is a nice history lesson about the Spanish-American war, World War, and Dylan’s War.
- Boots of Spanish Leather: A song about longing and youthful promises.
- My Back Pages: Perhaps, the inspiration for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, this is one of Dylan’s most poetic songs with wicked lyrics that twist and turn. Covered by The Byrds and Tom Petty, this is a great song to sing when you are hitting those middle age blues.
- Subterranean Homesick Blues: Running off the lyrics at ninety nine miles per hour, Subterranean Homesick Blues is essential in any Dylan Junkie’s arsenal. Strum real fast to keep the speed.
- Mr. Tambourine Man: Instead of telling a bedtime story, try singing Mr. Tambourine Man to the kids for a change. You will be surprised how soon they start dreaming and in the morning, they will be smiling, like the sun.
- Like A Rolling Stone: Clocked at over six minutes in the original version on Highway 61 Revisited, Like a Rolling Song is arguably Dylan’s quintessential masterpiece. With evocative lyrics and poignant images, this is not the greatest song of all time without reason. Just play it and roll.
- Desolation Row: Another great bedtime song to play for your kids, this is one hell of a long song. Compared to T.S. Eliot’s epic poem “The Wasteland”, you will have them snoozing by the time you get to Ophelia, or earlier.
- I Want You: When you really want your babe soooo bad, sing this song.
- Just Like a Woman: The bittersweet nuances of love are eloquently expounded in this song.
- I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight: Time to put out the lights.
- Lay Lady Lay: Following I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, play this and most likely, you will be a happy man.
- You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go: When all things fail and she’s packing all her stuff, try this song. Getting to the Ashtabula part will really be hard.
Often featuring simple chords, a beginning guitar player will find these songs easy to learn. For the more advanced Bob Dylan junkies, trying the newer songs may be more challenging.