Bob Dylan's Protest Song "Blowin' in the Wind" Debuted in 1962

If there's any testament to how long Black people have had to fight for freedom and equality in this country, there's Bob Dylan's 1962 track "Blown' in the Wind." The poetic folk tune goes through verses asking rhetorical questions about peace, love and freedom, which made it the perfect anthem for the civil rights movement at the time.
Mavis Staples has noted that even though the song was written by a white man, it accurately depicts the frustrations of Black people and their aspirations for equality. The song also inspired Sam Cooke to write his own protest song, "A Change is Gonna Come."
Dylan adapted the melody from the old African-American spiritual "No More Auction Block/We Shall Overcome," a song sang by former slaves who fled to Canada after Britain abolished slavery in 1833.
"'Blowin' in the Wind' has always been a spiritual. I took it off a song called 'No More Auction Block' – that's a spiritual and 'Blowin' in the Wind' follows the same feeling." - Bob Dylan
Dylan live debuted the first rendition of the song on April 16, 1962 at Gerde's Folk City in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, where the musician spent a lot of time. It was the last song during a short 5-song performance where he also played "Talkin' New York" and a cover of "Deep Elem Blues."
Bob Dylan
Listen to another live version from 1962 here:

"There ain't too much I can say about this song except that the answer is blowing in the wind. It ain't in no book or movie or TV show or discussion group. Man, it's in the wind — and it's blowing in the wind. Too many of these hip people are telling me where the answer is but oh I won't believe that. I still say it's in the wind and just like a restless piece of paper it's got to come down some ... But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know ... and then it flies away. I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it's wrong. I'm only 21 years old and I know that there's been too many wars ... You people over 21, you're older and smarter." - Dylan, June 1962
The protest song has since been resurrected for modern day movements, such as the protests against the Iraq War. As we continue to protest for Black lives in 2020, Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" continues to thrive with relevancy, nearly 60 years later.
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