What does The Times They Are A-changin' mean?

Search Login

Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A-changin' Meaning

Song Released: 1965

Get "The Times They Are A-changin'" on MP3:

Get MP3 from iTunes

The Times They Are A-changin' Lyrics

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a...


    click a star to vote
    Oct 21st, 2019 10:15am report

    Bob Dylan wrote this song in 1963 and this was the era of the PEACE and LOVE generation... Free spirits that would NEVER be tethered and controlled by something like the evils of Nazism, Communism or Socialism.
    In the 60s, Dylan could see that the times were changing, people had changed: and he favored change. Remember this was written not long after World War II. It was a time of the youth in this country being adamantly against war, divisiveness hate and injustices like racial discrimination. Young people in the 60s, if you think back to James Dean, Steve McQueen and the young Marlon Brando: were a rebellious and outspoken bunch who were inspired to take the world by storm. If something was horribly wrong, they were out there in a protest. These are the sons and daughters that were beyond parental command, as Dylan wrote. They were the children of the war-generation and they set out to fix what the people of the world in their parents'age group screwed up. They became proactive in their own right, to try to change the times for better; a better world for themselves, and a future for their own children. They knew (collectively, most of them wearing peace symbols around their necks) a change for unity, prosperity and peace was the New Order. When Dylan says "come gather round people", he is really speaking to the whole world, but more specifically to us in America, as world leaders to deluge the world with love, equality, our music singing praises to a free society; and a kumbaya attitude... transforming a postwar world into a planet of peace. He is making a call for change that ALL better join the movement of the Peacemaker-Flower Children. The whole action of the 60s was about movements and protests, to right the wrongs... This of course meant Civil Rights, which they knew would bring them head-to-head with the government. Dylan makes the plea in the song..."senators, congressmen please heed the call,don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall." In other words, these politicians needed to get off their asses and make our country a good place for everyone to be. "Don't block up the hall" could be interpreted as you better stay out of our way because we are going to flood over you and fix our America. The confidence and enthusiasm was at a fever pitch in the sixties: ("there's a battle outside and it's raging"). The message to our Congress was---if you---the Government stand in our way, you will be the ones who drown, if not in keeping with the changes that MUST come---sinking like a stone when the waters (the masses of the people) have risen all around them. Those of the parents' generation are admonished in much the same way ("please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand".)
    A kind of mantra in those days was 'don't trust anyone over 30'. This made the older generation sort of a quasi-enemy. They looked on the youth of the 60s as a bunch of pot-smoking, rock and roll or folk music; free- love, hippies. The people over 30 criticized this Peace-Love generation, and even did so in the Press; calling the Baby Boomers degenerates and LOSERS.
    But Dylan KNEW! He knew "the loser now would be later to win." This phrase is supported, in effect, when he says in the last verse that "the first one now will later be last". The younger generation was taking the bull by the horns and they were: in it to win it. The status quo is the "present" and it will soon be the "past"; civil rights will come into fruition and the old ways, will as Dylan says, "be rapidly fadin'."
    Bob Dylan reinforces this in each stanza of the song: repeating the same words at the end of every
    verse (moreso in terms of a promise, not a threat). that: "THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'."
    Lee Whitlow-A Baby-Boomer


    click a star to vote
    Nov 23rd, 2015 11:35pm report

    A great eye opening song by Bob Dylan [Robert Zimmerman] in ''The Times they are a-changin'' for what cause? i always asked myself in our American Western Democracy with concern and worry for the future ever since the ''Jesuits'' infiltrated the revolution for the American Independence day of 1776 to divide the 13 colonies of British control away from the influence of the Anglo Saxon Church of England for a easier control with the Crypts that practiced Christianity as a cover for their agenda that has not stopped to change their ways by the American Civil War, World War1, World War2 and stayed on course headlong into Zionism that is still taking place today with the change of times. The beginning of the 60's was a fast and dangerous political struggle that was going on with the Russian missile crisis in that our pres. John F. Kennedy eventually got us out of a possible nuclear war, while the American war in Vietnam was still going on and around this same time we lost our pres. John F. Kennedy by assassination. Between the cold war with Russia and the war in Vietnam, along with the coming of the civil rights movements at home that was to take place in the cultural Marxism of terrorism that was on the move to empower and indulge the youth with drugs,sex and music with all kinds of philosophies by the intellectuals to radicalize the youth to change them by this new cultural revolution that was taking place to comfort us with it's addictions to participate, or you could be left behind. Many parents during the 60's like now were confused and many were left behind to figure out what the hell is going on while listening to conspiracy theories on radio and t.v about Lee Harvey Oswald if he was used as a patsy that was influenced with help that had something to do with the assassination that evolved into something bigger to murder the Pres. This took some people into the Bible days to read for some answers for why ''The Times they are a-changin'' in the power struggle 4 some ''one'' who changed bible verses and like the 4 words from the verse used in ''JEREMIAH 11:9 for the Zionist course that says ''and The Lord said unto me a conspiracy is found among the ''men of Judah'' {VATICAN] and among it's inhabitants of ''Jerusalem''[ROME] towards the One world Order for someone to take back the seat on the new Temple they want to build in Jerusalem for him to be put there on top again.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


    click a star to vote
    Mar 14th, 2011 3:08pm report

    this dylan song is as revelant today as it was in the early 60s. it's revelant to every major political event, war or threat of war, scandel-nuclear arms-tragedies that affected the world, but that has it's place in a hard rain,. basically in an ever changing world, the way we live and act is also constantly changing and we either change with the times or we are left behind.it's a warning word not a threat and dylan as usual said it better than anyone did or will


    click a star to vote
    Mar 8th, 2011 3:31pm report

    history is in the making. Get ready and be prepared for change. A change is coming whether you are ready for it or not.


    click a star to vote
    Dec 14th, 2010 12:24pm report

    Your asking me for my interpretation is the interpretation for The Times They Are A Changin'. He prophetizing the coming changes in America when the traditional virtues will be replaced with Tolerance and Equality. It's the Revolt of the Masses" that he's writing about where the average person takes control of civilization. The self satisfied masses no longer listen to their betters, their parents, or the past.
    Anyone who disagrees with the mass of humanity will be crushed or eliminated. Who am I to interpret this song? The lyrics answer this question for you.

More Bob Dylan song meanings ยป


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Yellow Light anonymous
Fine line anonymous
Girl Crush anonymous
Drama Club anonymous
The Marvelous Toy anonymous
My Oh My anonymous
Blue (Da Ba De) anonymous
Your Decision Teri
Play Date anonymous
Innocence anonymous
Fire Drill anonymous
American Kids anonymous
So Long, Jimmy anonymous
Sippy Cup anonymous
Dollhouse anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

It's Gonna Be Alright
Titus Showers
All The Things She Said
You Keep Hope Alive
Sub Urban
Only Truck In Town
Tyler Farr
The Good Ones
Gabby Barrett
When Life Is Good Again
Dolly Parton
Worldwide Beautiful
Kane Brown