The Nobel Prize for Literature goes to Bob Dylan

‘We’ll meet again’. In 2000, Dylan received the Polar Music Prize from the hands of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Photo: Polar Music Prize.

14 October 2016

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

Yesterday, the Swedish Academy shocked the literary world by giving the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature to the American singer and song writer Bob Dylan. It was the first time since 1993 the prize went to an American – in 1993 Toni Morrison received the prize – and it was the first time ever that the prize was awarded to a musician.

In its citation, the Swedish Academy Permanent Secretary Sara Danius, the first woman on this post since the Academy was founded by King Gustav III in 1786, said that Dylan was awarded the prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

Bob Dylan, the song writer/poet/author, will receive the prize, 8m Swedish kronor (£742,666; $909,918), from the hands of King Carl XVI Gustaf on 10 December, the Nobel Day. This is not the first time Dylan will meet the King of Sweden. They met in 2000, when the American song writer was awarded the Swedish Polar Music Prize.

As usual, the prize is controversial as some people in the snobbish literary elite around the world do not regard Dylan’s work as ‘literature’. Whether he is a worthy winner or not, we here at HTBS would like to congratulate him and remind you that Dylan has sung about a row boat. In “The Water Is Wide”, an old folk song with Scottish origin, the first four lines read:

The water is wide and I can’t cross over
Neither have I wings that I could fly
Build me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row my love and I.

And here is the song on YouTube:

One comment

  1. The award to Bob Dylan is well deserved . In the mid 60s I saw him live at the Albert Hall at one of his last acoustic concerts. The Four Beales were there in a box with their then girl fireinds and secret wives . So I have seen the Beatles but didn’t see them perform. But I did see Paul Simon in small London folk clubs before he famous. Hie also writes brilliant lyrics which could be regarded as poetry

    Also saw. CSNY, JONI MITCHELL, THE BAND live at Wembley in 1974 and Neil Young and CSN a no of times since. Also seen the Eagles, the Stones, Steely Dan, the Beach Boys and Brain Wilson with his touring band perform Pet Sounds and Smile. At university QMC UL we had the Animals for a College dance when they were top of the charts with House of the Rising Sun.

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