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Bob Dylan Quotes To Make You Think About Life

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Bob Dylan Quotes

No one has ever quite tapped into our collective conscience like Bob Dylan. Dubbed the voice of a generation (though he hated this title), Dylan exploded onto the New York folk scene in the 1960s and has remained one of the western world’s most revered storytellers ever since.

With only a guitar and an imagination, Dylan has influenced millions of people, singing carefully constructed narratives that speak to our darkest desires and ravenous regrets. With themes spanning from capitalism to death, to love (of course), Dylan always aims his magnifying glass right at the ugly truth, leaving it bare for audiences to wince at.

If you don’t know anything about Dylan, you’ve still probably heard his work. Musicians and fans alike continue to cover and quote the fabled artist at every opportunity. Take a look at these examples throughout the years. It just goes to prove the staying power of his words

  • In 1965, The Byrds covered Mr. Tambourine Man
  • In 1968, Jimi Hendrix covered All Along The Watchtower
  • In 1970, George Harrison covered If Not For You
  • In 1985, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds covered Wanted Man
  • In 1988, Bruce Springsteen covered Chimes Of Freedom
  • In 1993, Jeff Buckley covered Mama You Been On My Mind
  • In 2008, Adele covered To Make You Feel My Love

If that doesn’t give you an idea of Dylan’s continued relevance, I don’t know what will. With 31 studio albums under his belt, you’d better believe there is a wealth of material for us to learn from. Not to mention his films, poetry, and artworks. Yup, he’s multi-disciplined too.

Anyway, enough of me talking up the artist. Let’s allow his musings to speak for themselves. There could be 1000 quotes on this list, but we’ve narrowed it down to 20 of the most potent and unforgettable. I hope you find a nugget of truth in this list that inspires you to reflect and grow.

Bob Dylan Quotes

“All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie.” — Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Quotes

“I define nothing. Not beauty, not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be.” — Bob Dylan

“A poem is a naked person… Some people say that I am a poet.” — Bob Dylan

“But even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.” — Bob Dylan

“Don’t matter how much money you got, there are only two kinds of people: there are saved people and there are lost, people.” — Bob Dylan

“Take care of my memories. For you cannot relive them.” — Bob Dylan

“To live outside the law, you must be honest.” — Bob Dylan

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“He not busy being born is busy dying.” — Bob Dylan

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.” — Bob Dylan

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

Bob Dylan Inspirational Quotes

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” — Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Inspirational Quotes

“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” — Bob Dylan

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between, he does what he wants to do.” — Bob Dylan

“The future for me is already a thing of the past – You were my first love and you will be my last.” — Bob Dylan

“Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.” — Bob Dylan

“People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.” — Bob Dylan

“When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.” — Bob Dylan

“You can never be wise and be in love at the same time.” — Bob Dylan

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“You’re going to have to serve somebody; well, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re going to have to serve somebody.” — Bob Dylan

“No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.” — Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Quotes About Life

“Take care of all of your memories. You cannot relive them.” — Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Quotes About Life

“All I can be is me- whoever that is.” — Bob Dylan

“You can never be wise and be in love at the same time.” — Bob Dylan

“Everybody is waiting for cooler weather–and I am just waiting for you.” — Bob Dylan

“Being noticed can be a burden. Jesus got himself crucified because he got himself noticed. So I disappear a lot.” — Bob Dylan

“It’s like a kid standing at the window watching the rain.” — Bob Dylan

“The finest fury is the most controlled.” — Bob Dylan

“The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken!” — Bob Dylan

“My big fear was that my guitar would go out of tune.” — Bob Dylan

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“Otherwise, as Dylan says, if you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying.” — Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Quotes for Success

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between, he does what he wants to do.” — Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Quotes for Success

I was born very far from where I’m supposed to be, and so I’m on my way home.” — Bob Dylan

“People are crazy and times are strange … I used to care but things have changed ” — Bob Dylan

“..my father was the best man in the world and probably worth a hundred of me, but he didn’t understand me. The town he lived in and the town I lived in were not the same.” — Bob Dylan

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” — Bob Dylan

“It seemed I’d always been chasing after something, anything that moved -a car, a bird, a blowing leaf -anything that might lead me into some more lit place, some unknown land downriver. I had not even the vaguest notion of the broken world I was living in, what society could do with you.” — Bob Dylan

“I really was never any more than what I was -a folk musician who gazed into the gray mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze.” — Bob Dylan

“What was the future? The future was a solid wall, not promising, not threatening – all bunk. No guarantees of anything, not even the guarantee that life isn’t one big joke.” — Bob Dylan

“All I’d ever done was sing songs that were dead straight and expressed powerful new realities. I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of.” — Bob Dylan

“why be bothered with other people’s set-ups? it only leads to torture.” — Bob Dylan

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Best Quotes By Bob Dylan

“I was born here, and I’ll die here against my will.” — Bob Dylan

“He stilled my room, for sure.” — Bob Dylan

“Once upon a time You dressed so fine.” — Bob Dylan

“I change during the course of a day. I wake, and I’m one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else.” — Bob Dylan

“All I can do is being me, whatever that is.” — Bob Dylan

“I had no time for romance. I turned away from the window, from the wintry sun, crossed through the room, went to the stove and made and poured myself a cup of hot chocolate and then clicked on the radio.” — Bob Dylan

“I never took much, I never asked for your crutch, Now don’t ask for mine.” — Bob Dylan

“In another life, I could have been you,” she’d say.” — Bob Dylan

“And songs, to me, were more important than just light entertainment. They were my preceptor and guide into some altered consciousness of reality, some different republic, some liberated republic.” — Bob Dylan

“One spoon of Dylan makes a gallon of meanings.” — Bob Dylan

Best Quotes By Bob Dylan

The Bottom-Line:

However, what’s interesting about Dylan is that he’s always true in his songs, but never in interviews. The artist is infamous for avoiding questions and mocking the press. By never taking the press seriously, to understand and learn about Dylan’s perspective, you have to look straight at lyrics. But alas, they’re not always straightforward either.

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His lyrics, especially in his 60s output, were famously vivid and esoteric, but that doesn’t mean they are any less significant. If anything, the mysticism around his words only adds to their inherent magic and universal appeal. On the flip side of the coin, Dylan also can tell things as straight as humanly possible. “It ain’t me you’re looking for babe” is pretty self-explanatory… Cuts like a hot knife through butter. Wish someone would sing that to Belle Delphine sometime soon.

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Which are your favorite Bob Dylan Quotes? Leave a comment below.

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