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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 02:33 GMT 
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Today I was thinking about both of these songs, and realized how Dylan is sort of talking about a similar idea, but at different stages of his life. In "Times", you have a young man telling people that the world is changing, and to, "get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand". In COTG, you have an older and wiser man talking about a similar idea. "But Eden is burning, either brace yourself for elimination. Or else your hearts must have the courage, for the changing of the guards". What do all of you think about these two songs. Do you have a favorite? Are there other comparable lines?


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 05:42 GMT 
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While "Times" is certainly more iconic due to being more direct and accessible as well as debuting at a crucial period in the sociopolitical landscape, I personally feel "Changing of the Guards" is the better song lyrically and certainly melodically. Also, it's one of his best arrangements ever.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 08:21 GMT 
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Times is the more iconic track, but honestly, I prefer Changing of the Guards. In fact, I think it's one of his very greatest songs. Changing of the Guards is obviously autobiographical, looking back on his sixteen years as a public figure, detailing his escape, his salvation through woman, and expressing a disavowal of causes, whether protest or otherwise. I think there is the idea of apocalypse in both stories, but in the earlier one, the apocalypse brings the rule of the just young, whereas in the older one, there seem to be forces that are above and beyond human agency bringing the great change against which we must have the courage to stand.

The earlier song is intoned like a sacred text, is noble, but slightly flat.
The latter song is spirit-filled and utterly exhilirating.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 14:24 GMT 
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The "Eden is burning" line is probably the best thing about "Changing of the Guard" but the rest of it comes off as Dylan's double standard tune, right up there with "Oh Sister, I command you to do me now." Unsurprisingly he's avoided playing it live since 1978.

Comparing it to the masterpiece and epoch defining song "Times" is preposterous.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 18:52 GMT 

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In some alternate universe, I'm sure "Changing of the Guards" is an iconic song. We live not in that place, thankfully. Not that I dislike that S/L tune--I think it is one of the better songs on a deformed mutant album. It's just that in every single way, "The Times They Are A-Changin'" is a better song. It says what it needs to say, kicks you in the face with its unadorned badassness, and leaves (but not without tossing you money). The 'Street Legal' tune hems and haws, asks for coffee, wonders if you'll order a pizza, spills the coffee on the couch, says "Eden is burning," and then torches your apartment while you are tied to a chair. All while female backup singers are doing whatever the hell they are doing on that song.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 18:59 GMT 
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Md23Rewls wrote:
In some alternate universe, I'm sure "Changing of the Guards" is an iconic song. We live not in that place, thankfully. Not that I dislike that S/L tune--I think it is one of the better songs on a deformed mutant album. It's just that in every single way, "The Times They Are A-Changin'" is a better song. It says what it needs to say, kicks you in the face with its unadorned badassness, and leaves (but not without tossing you money). The 'Street Legal' tune hems and haws, asks for coffee, wonders if you'll order a pizza, spills the coffee on the couch, says "Eden is burning," and then torches your apartment while you are tied to a chair. All while female backup singers are doing whatever the hell they are doing on that song.


:lol: well said! Times they are a changin' is a great song, that is concise, direct and powerful. Changing of the guards on the other hand, is perhaps one of the best on Street Legal, but its a badly recorded and performed, and its a rambling vague mess in comparison to The Times They Are A Changin'.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 19:09 GMT 
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Changing Of The Guards is a wonderful song. Wonderfully written, sung, and arranged.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 20:31 GMT 
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Changing of the Guards has been one of my favorite Dylan songs since I first heard it. The Times They Are A-Changin' is great and all, but I like the later song much better.

I like protest songs, but I don't much like political songs, and Changing of the Guards protests while going beyond the political.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 20:38 GMT 
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Both of these songs are profound in a lot of ways, but I'd say I get a little bit more out of "The Times They Are A-Changin" overall, "Changing of the Guards" is a masterwork too though in my opinion, and both songs should be well appreciated by Dylan fans everywhere.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 22:16 GMT 
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I much prefer "changing of the guards" too. "The time they are a Changin'" is a great song but like "blowin in the wind" it gets boring real fast.


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PostPosted: Wed March 28th, 2012, 22:27 GMT 

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raging_glory wrote:
Changing Of The Guards is a wonderful song. Wonderfully written, sung, and arranged.


True.. but "Times" is a all-time classic..and "guards" suffers from vague lyrics.


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PostPosted: Thu March 29th, 2012, 03:15 GMT 
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Yeah, clearly Times is a classic, and will remain one till the end of time haha. But I don't see how COTG is coming off sloppy to some people. I think it's a terrific arrangement, and his vocals are great on it. It's also one of the few times, that I can say that I don't absolutely detest the backup singers. They fit pretty well in COTG.


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PostPosted: Thu March 29th, 2012, 05:11 GMT 
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Jal015 wrote:
Today I was thinking about both of these songs, and realized how Dylan is sort of talking about a similar idea, but at different stages of his life. In "Times", you have a young man telling people that the world is changing, and to, "get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand". In COTG, you have an older and wiser man talking about a similar idea. "But Eden is burning, either brace yourself for elimination. Or else your hearts must have the courage, for the changing of the guards". What do all of you think about these two songs. Do you have a favorite? Are there other comparable lines?


That's an interesting thought. I looked at them together just now and agreed that

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.


could be an earlier, not fully formed version of this:

Gentlemen, he said I don't need your organization, I've shined your shoes
I've moved your mountains and marked your cards
But Eden is burning either brace yourself for elimination
Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards.


...if the songs are looked at from our inside condition being addressed by an interested entity.


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PostPosted: Thu March 29th, 2012, 12:57 GMT 
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I'd pick Times--which packs a leaner punch. You'd better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone has stuck with me in a way lines from Guards hasn't. I'll have to give Changing of the Guards another listen--for me, those back-up singers get in my way of hearing it. If there's an over-arching theme in the Dylan songography--it must be this idea of adjustment and flexibility and the shedding of the old to make way for the new. Baby Blue and on and on--from slightly different angles, ages, perspectives. I was listening to Hollis Brown from Town Hall yesterday and I was struck by that last line: "somewhere in the distance, there's seven new people born"--which sums it up well--talk about a lean punch.


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PostPosted: Thu March 29th, 2012, 17:33 GMT 
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I tend to agree.
Same *theme.
CotG is the *philosophical* version of the straightforward Times.


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