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Bob Dylan and the American Dream By Tom Hermes. How is the American Dream portrayed in the lyrics of Bob Dylan?

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Presentation on theme: "Bob Dylan and the American Dream By Tom Hermes. How is the American Dream portrayed in the lyrics of Bob Dylan?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Bob Dylan and the American Dream By Tom Hermes

2 How is the American Dream portrayed in the lyrics of Bob Dylan?

3 Life Born 1941 Grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota Spokesman of the Generation & Prophet Exponent of folk, rock, country, blues, gospel music genres Creative peak - Highway 61 Revisited “Peak artistic achievement of Western Civilisation”

4 Achievements Brought intellectualism to rock Oscars, Grammys etc. “Profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”

5 Facets of the American Dream Freedom, equality, pursuit of happiness Enshrined in The Declaration of Independence Material success The corruption of the upper class which taints the idea of the American Dream

6 Blowin’ in the Wind “How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man? How many seas must the white dove sail, before she sleeps in the sand? How many times must the cannonballs fly, before they’re forever banned? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind.”

7 “How many years can some people exist, before they’re allowed to be free?”

8 Subterranean Homesick Blues “The phone’s tapped anyway.” “I’m on the pavement, thinkin’ about the government.” “Look out, kid, it’s something you did, God knows when, but you’re doing it again, Better duck down the alleyway, lookin’ for a new friend, The man in the coonskin cap, in the big pen, Wants eleven dollar bills, but you only got ten.”

9 “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

10 “Twenty years of schoolin’ and they put you on the day shift.”

11 The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll “In the courtroom of honour, the judge pounded his gavel To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded And that even the nobles get properly handled Once that the cops have chased after and caught ‘em And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom Stared at the person who killed for no reason Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’ And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance, William Zanzinger with a six month sentence.”

12 Success “There’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all.” Love Minus Zero/No Limit “Up on housing project hill, it’s either fortune or fame, you must pick one or the other, though neither of them are to be what they claim.” Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues “You find out when you reach the top, you’re on the bottom.” Idiot Wind

13 “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

14 Corruption of America “The National Bank, at a profit, sells road-maps to the soul.” Tombstone Blues “They’re selling postcards of the hanging.” Desolation Row “They make everything from toy guns that spark to flesh-coloured Christs that glow in the dark, it’s easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred.” It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

15 Like a Rolling Stone “Once upon a time you dressed do fine, Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you? People call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall,” You thought they were all kiddin’ you.” “You used to laugh about, Everybody that was hangin’ out, Now you don’t talk so loud, Now you don’t seem so proud, About having to be scrounging your next meal, How does it FEEL?”

16 “Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people, They’re all drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made, Exchanging all precious gifts, but you’d better take your diamond ring, You’d better pawn it, babe.”

17 A Hard Rain’s A- Gonna Fall

18 “I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways, I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests, I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans.”

19 “I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it.”

20 “I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children, Where the hunger is ugly, where the souls are forgotten.”

21 “I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it, I saw a white ladder all covered with water.”

22 “I saw one person starving, I saw many people laughing.”

23 “I met a white man who walked a black dog.”

24 “The executioner’s face is always well hidden.”

25 “I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it, And reflect from the mountains so all souls can see it, And I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinking.”

26 “I heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’.”


28 “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

29 “It is for us the living to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us.”

30 “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.”


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