Van Morrison once characterized Bob Dylan as the greatest living poet.
Pete Seeger said that the unmistakable elegance in Dylan's words has an almost biblical beauty that has sustained his songs throughout the years.
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Dylan makes a seemingly controversial statement when he states that the world doesn't need any more songs. There are enough songs, "unless someone's gonna come along with a pure heart and has something to say. That's a different story."
"Poets don’t drive cars. Poets don’t go to the supermarket. Poets don’t empty the garbage... Poets don’t even talk to anybody. Poets do a lot of listening ...
Dylan seems to regard “popular entertainers” with a certain degree of contempt and mistrust.
He explains that to become a rare exception worthy of true creative respect takes talent and a whole lot of sacrifice and dedication.
Dylan explains that there are two kinds of thoughts in your mind: there are good and evil thoughts. If you want to be a songwriter, you must sort through those thoughts, because they are meaningless and just pull you around. Then you can extract yourself from your thoughts and survey it in a way that can't affect you.
Like many creators, Dylan values that unconscious aspect of creativity.
Dylan states that his best songs are those which were written very, very, very quickly. In order to do that, one must stay in the unconscious frame of mind. This optimal frame of mind can be aided by an environment that brings something out in you that you want to be brought out. Dylan states that it is a contemplative, reflective thing.
Songwriting is a bit like dating. The first words make or break the impression.
A strong opening line in a song has to be interesting and mysterious. Like the Righteous Brothers sang in the song ‘You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’: "You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips."
Before Sesame Street, music wasn't even considered as a means to teach children. But Sesame Street changed that and proved that kids are very receptive to a grammar lesson contained in a song.
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