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'
And you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin'
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

Lyrics submitted by Jack

The Times They Are A-Changin' Lyrics as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Times They Are A-Changin' song meanings
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  • +9
    General Comment
    This is a timeless song. Because the only constant is change. (sorry to use a corny volcom slogan but it's true)
    schoolofspoolon May 26, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Comment
    You can say that Texas and Minnesota are both part of United States. But I refuse to believe that George W Bush and Bob Dylan are from the same country. CNN should play "With God On Our Side" every twenty minutes. We'll have to wait four more years for the President of the US stop being an embarassment. A shame.
    cavernon February 03, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Comment
    I think this song is the most important and iconic song ever written.
    Tig45on July 24, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    I can't believe I'd ever feel the need to express this in relation to a Bob Dylan song, but this is a website for song MEANINGS, so it would probably be best for everyone if personal political views were excluded. Bush bashing is a magnet for idiots who like to defend our elected enemy. I also like to just laugh and smile when people don't appreciate the original artists, and prefer covers. If they can't see the beauty in Dylan, then that's their loss. Anyways. About the song. In my opinion, the first verse is an allusion to a flood, something that is not strictly a biblical reference (seeing as Dylan was, as Freewheelin pointed out, Jewish when he wrote this song) but also an archetype that is used by almost every religion on earth. Dylan persists that we get with it with the lines "If your time to you Is worth savin' Then you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin'." The second verse warns the authors, journalists, artists, etc of the time to watch for change, observe it, and record it. He talks of sudden twists of fate, unexpected victories. Verse three screams Vietnam to me. Dylan is telling our politicians to stop closing their eyes to the fact that Vietnam is real, people are getting killed, and it will soon hit closer to home than comfortable. He is asking them to take action. 4 seems to be asking people to stop a-bitchin'. Their children are out in the world, and they can't control them anymore. They need to let go of old fears and prejudices and get with the times. 5 sums it up. Live in the now, change your ways, accept the past but look forward. K... these are my opinions. Don't bash 'em. Disagree all you want, but don't turn this into some kind of personal war.
    delicousapathyon December 08, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    I love this song. I don't think any other version could be better. And I personally connect this song to today - the fight against same-sex marriage. Your old road is rapidly aging, bigots. But that's just me. Wonderful song.
    SophieKaijuuon April 09, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    Umm, that's Eddie VEDDER. And don't criticize What you can't understand. End of Discussion.
    InMyTreeon May 05, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    Yes, Bush will protect you. Just follow him blindly. And in the meantime, check out the song Pet by A Perfect Circle. And if you can, go to their site and watch the video "Counting Bodies". It is very educational. This is a good song indeed. Revolution is coming.
    Taurendilon January 17, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    he's not saying you have to get along with everyone just dont fucking bomb everyone who looks at you wrong
    bobdylaniscoolon January 02, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    This song is so wonderful. One of Dylan's best (not that I'm particulary knowledgable about Dylan's songs, but this one is amazing anyhow). I love how it's so simple, but still so strong. And I also love that they used this song for the opening title of Watchmen. It's perfect. And I also love that they used the original version and didn't lete anybody cover it. It's simply perfect and give me goosebumps every damn time! I love the "come mothers and fathers" verse. It describes the way I'm feeling right now, as I just turned 18, very well. "Don't critisize what you can't understand, your sons and daughters are beyond your comand, your road is rapidly aging, please get out of the new one if you cant lend a hand" It's definitivly about change, in any shape or form I think. I think this song is pretty open to very indivdual interpretation. People's lives will dictate what they think it's about, which is great. I love songs that can mean a million different things to a million different people.
    Donna H.on August 14, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    I know it's been a big joke ever since he started that Dylan can't sing, but honestly it's his unique voice that makes his so great, in my opinion. Voice is obviously a big factor in what makes us like a particular artist/song (like, other than Daughtry sucking ass in general, his voice makes me convulse and start vomiting), and I think Dylan is an incredible singer just BECAUSE it's unorthodox.
    Christa426on August 22, 2010   Link

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