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The revival of American folk music was at an all-time high in the midst of the 1960s. The traditional sound of acoustic instruments combined with cultures of society through vivid lyrics provides an array of musical tones and styles that continue to be listened to by many individuals today. Although folk music may not have have had an adequate presence in the musical society for many years, there are several albums and artists known in the modern era have included folk music in their collections. The male British band, Mumford and Sons led by Marcus Mumford, has expanded the awareness of folk music to a much wider audience. “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” is viewed as one of Dylan’s finest work because it highlights the success of the amount of influence Dylan brings to the world of folk and popular music. The song lyrics have prevalent meanings that can be interpreted in many different ways by all, however there is no variation in musicality. From a young age, Dylan sparked interest in music and was driven by several entertainment icons such as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. This led him to dropout of college to fully focus his time on what he loved to do most: create songs. One of his model icons at the time, Woody Guthrie, was hospitalized and Dylan would visit Guthrie very frequently. During these frequent visits, Dylan started to generate a wide collection of songs at a very fast pace. In fact, many of these songs written during this time is presented in the album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”. As the Rolling Stone elaborates in a biography of Dylan, “By personalizing folk songs, Dylan reinvented the singer-songwriter genre; by performing his allusive, poetic songs in his nasal, spontaneous vocal style with an electric band, he enlarged pop’s range and vocabulary while creating a widely imitated sound”. Through the use of traditional music and meaningful music, Dylan creates an album that exemplifies both protest and sorrow. He not only highlights the struggles of the American people as he mentions the Civil Rights movement in his songs Blowin’ in the Wind and Oxford Town, he also explains his renowned romance with several individuals which makes for a significant album. The picture on the cover of his album shows Dylan and his girlfriend of the time, Suze Rotolo. In “Girl of the North Country”, Dylan explains his past relationships with loved ones as well as highlights his sadness for Rotolo leaving him for her work. This song and “Bob Dylan’s Dream” both tap into the personal experiences of Dylan’s life. The meaningful lyrics display the life that Dylan lived, and the values he incorporates in his music today. One of the main reasons Dylan’s second album became so popular was its meaningful connection to political ideologies and the Civil Rights Movement. The height of political activism portrayed in “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” is substantial. One of the songs, Blowin’ in the Wind, quickly became an iconic symbol for the Civil Rights Movement. The lyrics “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? provided more opposition to the anti-war movement in the 1960s. Writer David Hajdu highlights in his article with NPR, “”The song can be anything to anybody. It’s critical and it’s hard, this litany of questions about what’s wrong with the world”. This exemplifies the versatile lyrics Dylan incorporates in the album however the musicality of it, leaves us with bare and unfinished rhythms.Overall, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” is viewed as one of Dylan’s finest works because it highlights the success of the amount of influence Dylan brings to the world of folk and popular music. Although the song lyrics provide meaningful hints to the Civil Rights Movement and political realizations in the midst of the 1960s, the musicality of the album fails to provide a variation in the tone and rhythms of each piece.

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