Bob Dylan Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

nobelprizecitationfordylanBob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” He is the first American to win since Toni Morrison in 1993, and the 1st rock star — or musician of any kind — ever.
Dylan is the 9th Literature Laureate born in the United States, and the only one besides George Bernard Shaw also to win an Academy Award.


Nobel Prize pages on Dylan

New York Times article

It might be little known that Dylan’s songs have been featured in four shows on Broadway:

Paul Sills’ Story Theatre
[Play, Play with music, Original]
Featuring “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” and “Dear Landlord” by Bob Dylan
Oct 26, 1970 – Jul 03, 1971

Rock ‘N Roll! The First 5,000 Years
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Featuring Blowin in the Wind, Like a Rolling Stone, Forever Young by Bob Dylan
Oct 24, 1982 – Oct 31, 1982

The Times They Are A-Changin’
[Musical, Dance, Original]
Music by Bob Dylan
Lyrics by Bob Dylan
Music orchestrated by Bob Dylan
Blowin’ in the Wind
Desolation Row
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Everything Is Broken
Forever Young
Gotta Serve Somebody
Highway 61 Revisited
I Believe in You
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
Just Like a Woman
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Lay Lady Lay
Like a Rolling Stone
Maggie’s Farm
Man Gave Names to All the Animals
Masters of War
Mr. Tambourine Man
Not Dark Yet
On a Night Like This
Please, Mrs. Henry
Rainy Day Women
Simple Twist of Fate
Summer Days
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Oct 26, 2006 – Nov 19, 2006

A Night with Janis Joplin
[Musical, Original]
Featuring “I Shall Be Released” by Bob Dylan
Oct 10, 2013 – Feb 09, 2014

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on Dylan:


Other poets react

Here are the lyrics of Masters of War, which seems especially relevant right now (which is why he sung them in a concert last week)

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
While the young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
By the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead


About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

One Response to Bob Dylan Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

  1. A. Stockholmer says:

    Bob Dylan deserves this Swedish prize ! But will he accept it ? The prize money comes from dynamite, weapons and gunpowder production and the Nobel Prize Group is still sponsored by the weapons industry in direct connection to Alfred Nobels own weapons factory (Bofors Cannons):

    Come you masters of war

    You that build the big guns
    You that build the death planes
    You that build all the bombs
    You that hide behind walls
    You that hide behind desks
    I just want you to know
    I can see through your masks

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