A recent Facebook post of mine featured a Joni Mitchell YouTube clip with her singing Both Sides Now circa 1970. Now I’m listening to Dylan. Guess you could call it flashback Friday.

I remember the musicians of Rock, Blues and Folk music in the sixties and seventies as passionate poets, activists, lovers, and okay, druggies. So what’s new, you ask?

The political climate at that time was highly charged in a way never experienced before – or since. Change was afoot. In fact, so much so that musicians sang about it and their songs resonated with listeners far and wide. People embraced what they heard and believed in it – believed it would help (them) make a difference.

Music and musical lyrics have been moving listeners since the first people started banging on drums. But the sixties and seventies was a unique time in our history and those who lived it felt the music did make a difference, the songs as timeless as change itself.

Here are a few selected lyrics taken from four artists and songs of that era. There were so many.

Bob Dylan – Hurricane

“How can the life of such a man/ Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?/ To see him obviously framed/ Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed/ To live in a land/ Where justice is a game”

Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower

“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke,
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

Janis Joplin – Piece Of My Heart

I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it,
Take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Oh, oh, have a!
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby,
You know you got it if it makes you feel good,
Oh, yes indeed.

Joni Mitchell – The Circle Game

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

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