Tonight, to Pandora—the Internet radio application—I heard a live version of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary. They introduced the song by saying something to this effect: “This song asks nine questions; our answers to them will determine the fate of this generation.” They then launched into a particularly beautiful, even soulful version of Dylan’s song.
It reminded me of the first time that I hear Bob Dylan sing this song. I was in my early teens. We were at my cousin’s summer campsite at Pymatuning State Park. The radio was on in the background and PPM’s version of the song was playing. Then, the DJ came on and said, with a bit of a smirk in his voice, “Do you want to hear this song by the guy who wrote it?” Then he played Bob Dylan’s version as a joke.
That winter, my mother bought us a stereo for Christmas and, for me, a copy of Dylan’s album, “The Times They are a Changin’.” That Christmas, she introduced me to the voice of my generation. Thanks, Mom.