10 lyrics that took Dylan to Nobel Prize

10 lyrics that took Dylan to Nobel Prize
At a London press conference, 1966 Pic: Getty

Legendary singer-songwriter becomes the first musician to take the prize

Legendary US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2016.

A statement on the Nobel Prize official website said the award was ”for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

It is the first time the award has gone to a musician.

He joins an illustrious list that includes WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Saul Bellow.

Here are 10 selected Dylan lyrics that showcase the artistry that led to the award:

“Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Whatever colors you have in your mind
I'll show them to you and you'll see them shine.


Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile
His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean
And you're the best thing that he's ever seen.


Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Why wait any longer for the world to begin
You can have your cake and eat it too
Why wait any longer for the one you love
When he's standing in front of you.


Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
I long to see you in the morning light
I long to reach for you in the night
Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead

Lay Lady Lay (From Nashville Skyline, 1969)

 

Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics for 'Mr Tambourine Man'. Pic: Getty Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics for Mr Tambourine Man. Pic: Getty

A change in the weather is known to be extreme
But what’s the sense of changing horses in midstream?
I’m going out of my mind, oh, oh
With a pain that stops and starts
Like a corkscrew to my heart. Ever since we’ve been apart

You're a Big Girl Now (From Blood on the Tracks, 1975)

 

Bob Dylan at a press conference in London in 1966 (Pic: Getty) Bob Dylan at a London press conference 1966. Pic: Getty

"Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People call say 'beware doll, you're bound to fall'
You thought they were all kidding you

You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal."

Like a Rolling Stone (From Highway 61 Revisited, 1965)

 

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform at a civil rights rally in Washington, 1963. Pic: Getty Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in 1963. Pic: Getty

"Come mothers and fathers,
Throughout the land,
And don’t criticise,
What you can’t understand."

The Times They Are a-Changin’  (From the eponymous album, 1964)

 

"May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation,
When the winds of changes shift."

Forever Young (From Planet Waves, 1974)

 

“How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed
To live in a land
Where justice is a game”

Hurricane, (From Desire, 1976)

 

Dylan in California, 2009 Pic: Getty Dylan in California, 2009. Pic: Getty

“Her folks they said our lives together 
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like mama's homemade dress
Papa's bank book wasn't big enough.

And I was standin' on the side of the road
Rain fallin' on my shoes
Heading out for the east coast
Lord knows I've paid some dues
Gettin' through
Tangled up in blue"

Tangled up in Blue (From Blood on the Tracks, 1975)

 

You see me on the street, you always act surprised
You say "how are you?", "good luck", but ya don't mean it
When you know as well as me, you'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once and scream it


No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief perhaps I'd rob them
And tho I know you're dissatisfied with your position and your place
Don't you understand, its not my problem?


I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you."

Positively 4th Street (released between the albums Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde, as the follow-up to Like a Rolling Stone, but wasn't included on either LP)

 

Do your love me, or are you just extending goodwill ?
Do you need me half as bad as you say, or are you just feeling guilt ?
I've been burned before and I know the score
So you won't hear me complain
Will I be able to count on you
Or is your love in vain ?


Are you so fast that you cannot see that I must have solitude ?
When I am in the darkness, why do you intrude ?
Do you know my world, do you know my kind
Or must I explain ?
Will you let me be myself
Or is your love in vain ?


Well I've been to the mountain and I've been in the wind
I've been in and out of happiness
I have dined with kings, I've been offered wings
And I've never been too impressed.


All right, I'll take a chance, I will fall in love with you
If I'm a fool you can have the night, you can have the morning too
Can you cook and sew, make flowers grow
Do you understand my pain ?
Are you willing to risk it all
Or is your love in vain? 

Is Your Love In Vain? (From Desire, 1978)

 

Dylan in England, 1978. Pic: Getty Dylan in England, 1978. Pic: Getty

“If you see her, say hello, she might be in Tangiers
She left here last early spring, is livin' there, I hear
Say for me that I'm all right though things get kind of slow
She might think that I've forgotten her, don't tell her it isn't so.”

We had a falling-out
Like lovers often will
And to think of how she left that night
It still brings me a chill

And though our separation
It pierced me to the heart
She still lives inside of me
We've never been apart

If you get close to her
Kiss her once for me
I always have respected her
For doing what she did and getting free

If You See Her, Say Hello, (From Blood on the Tracks, 1975)

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