Peace Music on Monday: The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

Sharing this week’s song of peace for our world:

The iconic song Blowin’ in the Wind was written by Bob Dylan in 1962 and released in 1963.  The melody was an adaptation of the old spiritual No More Auction Block (which originated in Canada among former slaves who had fled there), while the lyrics draw on Biblical rhetoric to raise questions about freedom, war, and peace.

Considered to be one of the anthems of the 1960s civil rights movement in the U.S., Blowin’ in the Wind also was sung by anti-war protesters during the Vietnam War and by protesters against the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.  It has been sung during folk masses in Catholic and Episcopal churches and as a hymn in Protestant churches.  In 1975, the lyrics were even included in a new English textbook published in Sri Lanka.

Blowin’ in the Wind has been performed and recorded by hundreds of artists. The most successful recording was by the folk singing trio Peter, Paul, and Mary who were responsible for making the song world famous.

blowin’ in the wind by bob dylan


And here is the version by Peter, Paul, and Mary:

BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND sung BY peter, paul, and mary

How many roads must a man walk down
Before they call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
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.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free ?
How many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Music is the universal language of mankind.

My faith calls me to work for peace and justice and to accept and love all people.  In a world that seems to be so full of hatred, I must do all I can to pursue justice and peace in my own little corner of the globe.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Schultz says:

    I did not know of the origins of the melody. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently it was Pete Seeger who made it known that Dylan had adapted the music of an old spiritual. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lucy Bartlett says:

    Great post!



  3. Amy says:

    Love the Blowin’ in the wind…

    Liked by 1 person

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