Quotations From BOB DYLAN [ROBERT ALLEN ZIMMERMAN]


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  • To live outside the law, you must be honest.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. Absolutely Sweet Marie (song), on the album Blonde on Blonde (1968). A similar observation was made in Don Siegel's 1958 film, The Line-Up.
  • It pays to know who your friends are but it also pays to know you ain't got any friends.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. "Prelude to the Flatpick," Tarantula (1970).
  • I've been up the mountain and I had a choice. Should I come down? So I came down. God said, "Okay, you've been up on the mountain, now you go down. You're on your own, free. Check in later, but now you're on your own."
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. Quoted in Clinton Heylin, Dylan: Behind the Shades, ch. 22 (1991). Said on his decision to return to live performances in 1975. Shortly after, Dylan embarked on the "Rolling Thunder Review."

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  • Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, Bob, why are you resisting me? I said, I'm not resisting you! He said, You gonna follow me? I said, I've never thought about that before! He said, When you're not following me, you're resisting me.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. quoted in Q Magazine (London, Jan. 1990). Said on stage at Syracuse, New York, May 1980.
  • I am against nature. I don't dig nature at all. I think nature is very unnatural. I think the truly natural things are dreams, which nature can't touch with decay.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. Quoted in Robert Shelton, No Direction Home, ch. 1, "Kaddish," (1986).

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  • Don't matter how much money you got, there's only two kinds of people: there's saved people and there's lost people.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. Quoted in "Saved: Bob Dylan's Conversion to Christianity," Wanted Man, ed. John Bauldie (1990). On stage, Nov. 26, 1979, in Tempe, Arizona.

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  • Democracy don't rule the world,
    You'd better get that in your head;
    This world is ruled by violence
    But I guess that's better left unsaid.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. Union Sundown (song), on the album Infidels (1983).

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  • 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'.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. The Times They Are A-Changin' (song), on the album The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964).
  • You got a lotta nerve
    To say you are my friend
    When I was down
    You just stood there grinning.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. Positively 4th Street (song) (1965), re-released on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (1967).

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  • In ceremonies of the horsemen,
    Even the pawn must hold a grudge.
    Bob Dylan [Robert Allen Zimmerman] (b. 1941), U.S. singer, songwriter. Love Minus Zero/No Limit (song), on the album Bringing it all Back Home (1965).
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