Bob Dylan, St John Paul II and tryin’ to get to heaven

Bob Dylan and Saint John Paul II

Bob Dylan, who once sang for Saint John Paul II, has received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Nobel citation says he is honored “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Commentators say he deserves to share the stage with “a charismatic pope who understood the power of the arts to stir people’s souls.”

Dylan, 75, was born as Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in a Jewish family.

In the 1960s, his ballads became anthems for the anti-war and civil rights movements.

In the late 1970s until part of the 1980s, Dylan became a born-again Christian.

His songs in that period include “They Killed Him,” a lament about the murders of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Jesus.

His ballads seek to prick consciences on of the folly of war, environmental destruction, and the isolation of the poor.

Human dignity is a recurring theme

Comments made about his work note Dylan’s songs have been inspired by different cultures, faith traditions and periods of history.

Others mention his spiritual nature, saying he’s: “… a spiritual seeker, and that’s an incredibly important part of his art.”

“He acknowledges in everything he does, the sacredness of life, and our obligations to each other.”

Some of Dylan’s songs in the 1960s had titles with religious allusions, including “Gates of Eden,” and “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine.”

The 1964 song “With God On Our Side,” fiercely scorns the way wars have been rationalized throughout history by harnessing divine approval.

Dylan is said these not days not to follow any organized religion.

His 1997 song, “Trying to Get to Heaven” includes the lyrics: “I’ve been all around the world, boys, and I’m tryin’ to get to heaven before they close the door.”



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News category: World.

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