The Times They Are A-Changin.

The Times They Are A-Changin.

The song denotes political and economic changes at the time of its writing. The title of the song itself, which uses the slang term ‘a-changing’ gives the idea that the change is related to the rise of the African Americans. The song reflects the permeation of the African Americans into the suburbs. Dylan mentions that ‘the waters…have grown’ (3-4) and this water is overwhelming, it could drench someone ‘to the bone’ (6). The change that he is pointing out is something that gets to the bone because it pertains to blood, the blood of the African Americans. It could drench to the bone because the thought of African Americans leading the nation or becoming the majority is, for some, intolerable. it could cost their lives to think that such is happening.

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The 1960s saw changes in the political and economic scenes of America. When JFK won, people had a new hope with his attempts at reviving the economy and establishing democracy. Following this, more and more African Americans migrated to the largest cities. According to Farber (264), subarbanisation rose with a total of 4.5 million non-whites. Specifically, New York’s white population decreased by 7 percent whilst its African American population increased by 46 percent. Thus, the song expresses, ‘‘For he that gets hurt/Will be he who has stalled (27-28). Dylan implies that the African Americans will soon take over in power. therefore people should change and adopt the changes so that it will not be difficult for them to live and accept reality.

More and more African Americans have established names during the said time including Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, Sammy Davis, etc. As, Dylan claims, ‘For the loser now/Will be later to win/For the times they are a-changin (20-21).

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