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The lyrics that helped Bob Dylan win the Nobel Prize

American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature Thursday, lauded for creating "new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Here are lyrics from just a few of the hundreds of songs that he has written over his career.

"Blowin' in the Wind," 1962

Folk singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, 22, performed on Nov. 8, 1963. The location is unknown. AP

How many roads must a man walk down

Before you call him a man?

Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail

Before she sleeps in the sand?

Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly

Before they're forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Full lyrics here.

"The Times They Are A-Changin,'" 1963

Barry Feinstein photographed Bob Dylan for the cover of 1964's "The Times They Are A-Changing." Columbia Records

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

There's a battle outside

And it is ragin'.

It'll soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For the times they are a-changin'.

Full lyrics here.

"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," 1963

The cover of Bob Dylan's second album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," released in May 1963. The track list included "Blowin' in the Wind," "Girl from the North Country," "A Hard Rains' a-Gonna Fall," "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" and "I Shall Be Free." The album hit Number 1 in the U.K. Columbia Records

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?

Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?

I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',

I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,

Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,

Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,

Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,

Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,

Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,

Where black is the color, where none is the number,

And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,

And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,

Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',

But I'll know my song well before I start singin',

And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,

It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Full lyrics here.

"Talking New York," 1962

Bob Dylan in the recording studio in 1965. CBS News/Getty Images

Wintertime in New York town,

The wind blowin' snow around.

Walk around with nowhere to go,

Somebody could freeze right to the bone.

I froze right to the bone.

New York Times said it was the coldest winter in seventeen years;

I didn't feel so cold then.

Full lyrics here.

"Chimes of Freedom," 1964

Folk singers Joan Baez, left, and Bob Dylan performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, R.I. in 1963. AP

Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll

We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing

As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds

Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing

Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight

Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight

An' for each an' ev'ry underdog soldier in the night

An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Full lyrics here.


"Subterranean Homesick Blues," 1965

A photo shows US folk singer Bob Dylan in March 1966 in New York. AFP/Getty Images

Maggie comes fleet foot

Face full of black soot

Talkin' that the heat put

Plants in the bed but

The phone's tapped anyway

Maggie says that many say

They must bust in early May

Orders from the D. A.

Look out kid

Don't matter what you did

Walk on your tip toes

Don't try "No Doz"

Better stay away from those

That carry around a fire hose

Keep a clean nose

Watch the plain clothes

You don't need a weather man

To know which way the wind blows.

Full lyrics here.

"Ballad of a Thin Man," 1965

Bob Dylan, center, performed with Rick Danko, left, and Robbie Robertson of The Band at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Jan. 20, 1968. The concert was part of a benefit tribute to the late Woody Guthrie, Dylan's idol. AP

You raise up your head

And you ask, "Is this where it is?"

And somebody points to you and says

"It's his"

And you say, "What's mine?"

And somebody else says, "Where what is?"

And you say, "Oh my God

Am I here all alone?"

Because something is happening here

But you don't know what it is

Do you, Mister Jones?

Full lyrics here.

"Like a Rolling Stone," 1965

Bob Dylan during a news conference at New York's Kennedy International Airport on his arrival from England on Sept. 2, 1969. He said a weekend concert on the Isle of Wight was a warm-up for the return of personal appearances in the United States. AP

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns

When they all come down and did tricks for you

You never understood that it ain't no good

You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you

You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat

Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat

Ain't it hard when you discover that

He really wasn't where it's at

After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Full lyrics here.

"Tangled Up in Blue," 1974

Bob Dylan (left), Leon Russell (back to camera) and George Harrison perform together at a benefit concert for refugees of East Pakistan at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Aug. 1, 1971. AP

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe

"I thought you'd never say hello," she said

"You look like the silent type."

Then she opened up a book of poems

And handed it to me

Written by an Italian poet

From the thirteenth century.

And every one of them words rang true

And glowed like burnin' coal

Pourin' off of every page

Like it was written in my soul from me to you,

Tangled up in blue.

Full lyrics here.

"Idiot Wind," 1974

Bob Dylan performed at the Houston Astrodome in Texas Jan. 25, 1975. AP

Someone's got it in for me, they're planting stories in the press

Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out but when they will I can only guess.

They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,

She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.

I can't help it if I'm lucky.

People see me all the time and they just can't remember how to act

Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts.

Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,

I couldn't believe after all these years, you didn't know me better than that

Sweet lady.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,

Blowing down the backroads headin' south.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,

You're an idiot, babe.

It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

Full lyrics here.

"Dark Eyes," 1985

Bob Dylan performed during the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards at New York's Radio City Music Hall, Feb. 21, 1991. At the ceremony, he was awarded a lifetime achievement award. AP

Oh, the gentlemen are talking and the midnight moon is on the riverside,

They're drinking up and walking and it is time for me to slide.

I live in another world where life and death are memorized,

Where the earth is strung with lovers' pearls and all I see are dark eyes.

Full lyrics here.

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