Song Lyric Sunday – The Times They Are A-Changin’

Jim Adams gave us some difficult prompts this week for Song Lyric Sunday – Acquire, Collect, Gather and Secure. Not sexy at all Jim!

This was the first and only song I thought of that had the word “Gather” in the lyrics. Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-Changin'” from the 1960. The decade of protest and change. Sadly not much has changed in 50 plus years as we find ourselves fighting for the same civil rights today that we were then. It is certainly a song that will continue to resonate and inspire change.

I am interested to see what the others come up with today.

A call to action, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” became an anthem for frustrated youth. It summed up the anti-establishment feelings of people who would later be known as hippies. Many of the lyrics are based on the Civil Rights movement in the US.

In the liner notes of this album Biograph, Dylan wrote: “I wanted to write a big song, some kind of theme song, with short, concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. This is definitely a song with a purpose. I knew exactly what I wanted to say and who I wanted to say it to.” 

Dylan recorded this song in October 1963. He first performed the song at a Carnegie Hall concert on October 26 that year, using it as his opening number.

On November 22, 1963, United States president John F. Kennedy was assassinated, which made this song even more poignant. This also presented a quandary for Dylan, who had to decide if he would keep playing the song; he found it odd when audiences would erupt in applause after hearing it, and wondered exactly what they were clapping for.

Dylan kept the song in his sets. It was issued on the album of the same name on January 13, 1964.

Dylan covered the Carter Family Song “Wayworn Traveler,” writing his own words to the melody and named it “Paths Of Victory”. This recording is featured on “Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3”. After writing that song, he re-wrote the words again, changed the time signature to 3/4, and created this, one of his most famous songs ever.

This was released as a single in the UK in 1965 before Dylan went there to tour. It became his first hit in that territory, climbing to #9 on April 21. British listeners liked what they heard from Dylan and made a run on his second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (released in 1963), sending it to #1 on April 11. This marked the first time in two years that an album by a group other that The Beatles or Rolling Stones was #1 in the UK.


Come gather 'round, people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
And you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin'
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Dylan

Source: LyricFind

  19 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – The Times They Are A-Changin’

  1. August 2, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Good post, Christine. This song is also prominently featured in the film, “Watchmen.” Bob Dylan is a living legend and still going strong <3

    • Christine Bolton
      August 2, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      One of my favorite poets Lisa ☺️

      • August 2, 2020 at 9:07 pm


  2. August 2, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    It seems to be a song of the times, a statement for the lessons we never seem to learn. Such a good choice for today.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 2, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      I know! What is wrong with us?? Thanks Maggie 🙂

  3. August 2, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    A popular choice today. Great song.

  4. August 2, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Dylan is popular today! Interesting how the eviction in his voice comes through loud & clear and not much has changed (as the larger picture) since this song came out. We are dealing with things beyond civil rights like lack of leadership, much less the hatred that many of them radiat to the public! Things may not change for a very long time, but I’m hoping our elections in November get our biggest bigot out of office. 🙂

    • Christine Bolton
      August 2, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Oh yes Lisa. What that man has done to this country is despicable. He is a racist pig and it will take us a long time to recover. 😢
      Please be careful in the coming days. Are you over in Jax? If so please take care. Who knows what Isaias will do 😕

  5. August 2, 2020 at 9:28 am

    I always thought that the times would change quicker, but I guess slow and steady wins the race and progress takes time. I would definitely end up clapping if I was at a concert where Dylan played this song.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 2, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      I honestly believed we had changed and the country was moving forward until the Orange haired SOB monster stirred the pot and unleashed all that hatred that was still living inside so many. 😡🤮🤬

  6. August 2, 2020 at 2:39 am

    Great choice, great song from an era of change 💜💜

    • Christine Bolton
      August 2, 2020 at 8:10 am

      Thanks Willow ☺️

      • August 2, 2020 at 9:05 am

        A pleasure 💜

  7. August 2, 2020 at 1:27 am

    Great song 😍

    • Christine Bolton
      August 2, 2020 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Paula

  8. August 2, 2020 at 12:44 am

    Dylan is ruling this week so far! LOL! Great share, Christine. They simply do not write songs like this any more.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 2, 2020 at 8:11 am

      To me Dylan is pure poetry! Thanks Felicia ☺️

  9. August 2, 2020 at 12:22 am

    I’ve always thought that this is an important song of the times, then and now.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 2, 2020 at 8:12 am

      So true ✌️☮️✊🏿✊✊🏽

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