Study Guide

All Along the Watchtower Calling Card

By Bob Dylan

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Calling Card

One of Dylan's calling cards is displayed prominently in this song: the ability to create an utterly believable setting that does not necessarily have any basis in contemporary or historical fact. After all, what do princes, businessmen, and wildcats have to do with each other? Outside of this song, not a whole lot. It's a mix of past and future, rural Texas and Biblical Mesopotamia. Even the song's dialogue between the joker and the thief includes expressions that seem both folksy and archaic (old) at the same time.

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