Top 20 Political Songs: The Times they are a-Changin’ | Bob Dylan | 1964

"This was definitely a song with a purpose" - Bob Dylan

The title track of Dylan's 1964 album The Times they are a-Changin' has become one of the most famous protest songs ever written. Though articulating the hopes of the Sixties folk generation, Dylan's creation has proved to possess an enduring cross-generational appeal.

"This was definitely a song with a purpose," he would later say. "The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time." That same year saw the arrival of the Civil Rights Act, putting an end to racial segregation in the US.

Yet 1964 was also the year that Dylan appeared to be rejecting something of this idealism and started to distance himself from the folk scene. Singing in "My Back Pages" from his album Another Side of Bob Dylan, he included the refrain, "Ah, but I was so much older then/I'm younger than that now."

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