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Like A Rolling Stone

Like A Rolling Stone


by Bob Dylan


"Highway 61, the main thoroughfare of the country blues, begins about where I came from," Dylan wrote in his autobiography. "I always felt like I'd started on it, always had been on it and could go anywhere from it, even down into the deep Delta country. It was the same road, full of the same contradictions, the same one-horse towns, the same spiritual ancestors…It was my place in the universe, always felt like it was in my blood" (Polizzotti 23).

Though "Like A Rolling Stone" does not suggest a specific setting—and the lyrics feel decidedly more urban than rural or interstate-bound—Dylan named the whole album Highway 61 Revisited. The album title is an obvious tribute to both his geographic and his musical roots—he grew up outside of Duluth, Minnesota, on the Northern end of a stretch of road that produced such greats as Charley Patton and Son House (fathers of the Delta Blues), Muddy Waters (who traveled up and down Highway 61 to build his early career), and B.B. King. The legendary Robert Johnson (who Dylan admired greatly) is also said to have sold his soul to the Devil at an intersection with Highway 61. Although Dylan did not go down a blues road on this album in a musical way, Highway 61's history and legacy provide the setting for "Like A Rolling Stone."

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