Bob Dylan Wrote ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ in Only 10 Minutes
It often takes hard work to achieve a dream, yet for some, it seems effortless—especially if you’re a songwriter and musical genius like Bob Dylan. He has even been compared to Shakespeare by former Beatle George Harrison, who was a friend. So, did it take years for Dylan to write the song that changed his career forever? Nope. It didn’t even take months, days, or even hours. Dylan wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind” in only 10 minutes.
A re-recording of ‘Blowin in the Wind’ recently sold for nearly $1.8 million
“Blowin’ in the Wind” is still making money, which means those 10 minutes Bob Dylan spent writing it were extremely valuable. Dylan’s re-recording of the song sold in 2022 for nearly $1.8 million at a live auction at Christie’s in London, Pitchfork reports. T Bone Burnett produced the new one-of-a-kind recording, a 10-inch aluminum disc resembling a vinyl record. The new format is called an Iconic Original disc by Burnett’s company, Neofidelity.
The Iconic Original disc of “Blowin’ in the Wind” plays on normal record players but features a durable coating that’s practically indestructible, ensuring the recorded music will sound amazing for many years. The disc is housed in a custom-made walnut and white oak cabinet, Christie’s reports. The sale marked 60 years since Dylan’s original career-changing recording.
Bob Dylan explains how he wrote the iconic song in 10 minutes
During an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes seen on YouTube with veteran correspondent Ed Bradley in 2004, Bob Dylan revealed a few insights into his songwriting process. He confirmed that the rumors are true—and that it did take him about 10 minutes to write the lyrics for “Blowin’ in the Wind.” He was 20 years old and living in New York’s Greenwich Village. He performed the song at Gerde’s Folk City the same day he wrote it, although he added another chorus later.
When Bradley asked Dylan about writing the song in 10 minutes during the interview, he said, “where did it come from?” Dylan replied, “It just came…right outta that wellspring of creativity, I would think, you know…” Dylan elaborated slightly, saying, “I don’t know how I got to write those songs…those early songs were almost magically written.”
Dylan spoke more about his creative inspiration when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. Dylan was the first songwriter to win the award for “giving songs new poetic expressions,” reports say. President Obama even remarked, in a tweet, that the honor was “well-deserved.” Dylan didn’t attend the ceremony, and a member of the Nobel Academy called him impolite and arrogant—but he still shared an acceptance speech.
In the speech, Dylan said that reading the classics in school influenced his music. He mentioned Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, and A Tale of Two Cities, saying, “Typical grammar school reading that gave you a way of looking at life, an understanding of human nature, and a standard to measure things by…the themes from those books worked their way into many of my songs,” as reported by USA Today. He closed his speech with a quote from The Odyssey, saying, “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story.”
‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ is a part of American history
“Blowin’ in the Wind” will always have its place in American history. The song’s poetic lyrics, such as, “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man? How many seas must a white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand?” appeal to the masses. The iconic chorus goes, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”
The lyrics are ambiguous enough so that listeners can find their own meaning in each line. Yet, they also perfectly captured the plight of African Americans during the Civil Rights movement and anti-war protesters during Vietnam. Peter, Paul, & Mary, known for “Puff, The Magic Dragon,” played its hugely successful cover version of “Blowin in the Wind” at the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963, when Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, the New Yorker reports.
Pope John Paul II quoted Bob Dylan during a sermon in 1997, according to The Guardian, when he shared the stage with the singer in front of 300,000 young Catholics in Bologna, Italy. Pope John Paul II said, “You say the answer is blowing in the wind, my friend. So it is: but it is not the wind that blows things away, it is the breath and life of the Holy Spirit, the voice that calls and says, ‘Come!'”