Why Run With The Herd?

Famous Quotes

The Times They are A-changin’ (or are they?)

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

I was recently on an Air China flight from JFK to Beijing, listening to the audio tracks and creating a playlist for the flight. I’m a big Bob Dylan fan, and one of the options was “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits”.

Let’s just stop for a minute and ponder that. On an Air China flight, I found Bob Dylan. Yes, the times they are a-changin’.

Which brings me to the point of this blog – namely, the lyrics to “The Times They Are A Changin” and the whole debate over the fiscal cliff. It’s been almost 50 years since Dylan wrote this song, and the lyrics are as relevant to today’s issues (especially the current focus of the 24 hour spin cycle) as they were in 1964 when the song was released.

Come senators, congressman
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he who gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Don’t block up the wall?! I guess there were obstructionists members in the House and Senate back then too. If I were Speaker Boehner, I would send every member of Congress – and not just the Republicans – an iTunes gift card with this song already paid for. Boehner is the Speaker of the House – not just the Republican members of the House. Democratic house members need to hear these words too.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

President Obama, sitting pretty after his re-election, should take a close look at those last lyrics. You might be in the driver’s seat now, Mr President, but leading the country requires give and take. You’re first now – but if you don’t compromise – why should Pelosi, Reid or Boehner.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Could Dylan have given a clearer warning to all the pundits out there telling us who’s up, who’s down, who’s winning, who’s losing, who’s right, who’s wrong? Look, I know you are not going to listen to me, but could you at least give some props to Mr. Dylan and don’t speak too soon?

Finally, to the rest of us, Dylan has some words of wisdom that we might consider as we watch our elected representatives try and straighten out the mess that we allowed them to get us into.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
You old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.


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One comment on “The Times They are A-changin’ (or are they?)


Hi Hank, I will add this blog to my Blog roll. Hope to see you soon state side.


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