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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Backstage Manager(inactive) Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it (107* d) RE: Dr Bob Dylan - you better believe it 19 Jun 04

He wrote some go0d songs...he also stole some good songs.

How many times have we seen that comment, or something to that effect, every time something about Dylan comes up on Mudcat? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.

But any time you come down on Dylan for that, you're also coming down on A.P. Carter, Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Brownie McGhee, Utah Phillips, Si Kahn, Tom Russell, Arlo Guthrie, Dave Van Ronk, Rick Fielding, Jim Ringer, Jimmy Driftwood and virtually every other songwriter rooted in the folk traditions.

Taking old songs and updating them, or changing them to suit the needs of the person, or the times, is what the folk process is all about and it goes back centuries.

If you've read Pete Seeger's books, or Sing Out! columns, and you'll know that he's always encouraged people to take older songs and transform them.

One of the things that have made Dylan such a great songwriter is his openness to, and vast knowledge of, the folk tradition.

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