"I was so much older then/I'm younger than that now." We'll be celebrating Bob Dylan's 71st birthday with a series of posts this week. As mercurial as Dylan has always been, there is one thing we do know: for as long as Dylan has been writing songs, he has been writing to, for and about New York City. So far, we've listed our favorite Dylan covers and looked at the Freewheelin' album cover art. Now, we'll dive into songs written about Robert Zimmerman.
As we wrote the other day, musicians just keep coming back to the Dylan well again and again for cover tunes. Similarly, many musicians have derived inspiration from him by writing songs to, about, or featuring Dylan. Some are more obvious name-checks, such as John Lennon turning his back on him in "God," then there are the ones where Dylan is a haunted presence, like in Wilco's "Bob Dylan's 49th Beard." And then there are the obscure, like Akron/Family finally finding what they're looking for in "Dylan pt 2."
Click through for our ten favorite songs written about or to Dylan, and let us know if there are any we've forgotten.