Sunday, 16 February 2014

The answer is blowing in the wind. . .

This blog post is dedicated to +Nane Rio and her response to the You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow blog post.

I first came across this Bob Dylan classic Blowing in the wind during my primary/elementary school years.  One thing you have to remember about primary school is that from that age you are somewhat compliant, as you learn to negotiate the rules (or at least learn about them) from your teacher.
In the school I attended, we had a homeroom teacher but for special things like drama, music and dance (don't get me started on the awesomeness that is square dancing (folk dancing as we were told, later I thought what folks in their right mind danced the bunny hop or the chicken dance?) then we would go and see the specialist teacher whose job was to take a group of uncoordinated or tone deaf group of pre- tweenies and turn them into a dance troupe or a choir.

Our music teacher was a total fan of the 60s and 70s.  I remember singing Love Potion Number 9, Puff the Magic Dragon and Country Road (I remember John Denver songs were pretty cool) to name a few.  The only instrument she used was a guitar.  The overhead projector was set up with a lyric sheet or she had written the lyrics on the blackboard for all to see.  It wasn't until I grew older that I fully appreciated the lyrics and what they meant underlying the song (learning the song on guitar helped as well).

The series of questions in each of the verses paints a picture of the human condition, of the sign of the times when war was seen as the only solution to solve problems that ended in death.  There will always be the argument that a few lives must be sacrificed to save nations - it's the way of the world (not my view, just stating how some past governments have rationalised those types of decisions).

And I think this is what the song symbolises - it's like a social commentary on the political climate of its day - with reference to the violent impact of war, death and destruction to people and the environment.  A dove sailing across so many seas until peace can be found, when cannonballs will eventually stop flying and become banned, mountains turning into seas, people not having freedom, all while men turn blind eyes to the realities of their actions, men not seeing the sky, men not using their ears to hear people cry and how many people need to die.

The answer to each of the questions is "blowing in the wind".

And if that's the answer - I have a few questions of my own:

Will the wind be blowing so strong that we can't hear the answers that it carries?
What if the wind comes with some rain and the rain distracts us?
From what direction is the wind blowing from?
How hard does the wind need to blow before we change what we do?

The answer to each of the questions is "blowing in the wind".