The first album I ever bought was this compilation of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits released March 1967. I was twelve and when I put the album on the turntable it felt like I was blown out of our lounge up the hill over the highway into the rolling mist of the world. The words were sharp hooks, unfathomable, music in their own making. Phrases stuck in my head, to repeat though the day like a sweet refrain. This was poetry. This was poetry that a young ear didn’t entirely get from her sheltered lee of the globe, naive and green was she. But as I wrote in my Mick-Jagger poem, I could feel a change brewing in me, the words mixing. When I was young AA Milne had tipped and tilted the poet in me; when I was twelve Bob Dylan did the same thing.
What classic songs to launch a turntable! What a cover with the light gleaming. I did a painting of this to go on my wall.
I remember my father saying, Well he can’t sing. I silently disagreed as Bob Dylan sang his way into what words can do.
I have loved his albums ever since: the way story unfolds, lines are sumptuous in both detail and surprise.
I am very glad Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature – to the delight of some and the chagrin of others.
Time to get a Bob Dylan CD out, old-fashioned girl I am, and head into the city.
Cheers, Bob Dylan, cheers!