The two earthly people celebrating their birthday today are Ranall Norris who comes from Carrick-on-Suir but who currently lives in Dublin, Ireland. We also wish a happy birthday to Fiona Ibiza who originates from Carrick-on-Suir in Tipperary but who presently lives in Ibiza, Spain. Enjoy your special day, Rannal, and Fiona, and thank you for being my Facebook friend. We all hope that you have a wonderful day.
Last, but by no means least, I cannot let this day pass without us all quietly celebrating the life of Colin Jagger who sadly died on November 14th, 2020 after many years of illness, during which his loving wife, Janice Jagger, nursed and cared for him. It would have been Colin’s 74th birthday today. Colin and Janice lived a loving life together, helping hundreds of children find their place in life during their journey through it. There are so many people who remain forever indebted to Colin and Janice for the start in life this loving couple gave them. Our thoughts today are not sad ones but celebrate the life and time of Colin Jagger on this earth, and the great good he and his wife did as a caring couple who could never dispense enough love to others who benefited from being a part of their ‘special family’. What better way to commemorate the life and time of Colin Jagger today than to sing Colin’s favourite song, ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’, and to think kindly of his wife and soulmate, Janice, whose heart, mind, thoughts, and feelings will never be separated from the man she proudly called ‘My life. My Colin’.
The man who originally popularised the song I sing for you today was the great Bob Dylan. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in May 1941, the American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist, Bob Dylan, broke into our lives during the early years of the 1960s. Though I was never lucky enough to see and hear him, except listen to his voice from his records, and the few public interviews he ever gave, we grew up in the same time zone (him being 18 months older than me). Widely regarded as being one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Bob Dylan has been a major figure for almost sixty years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when songs such as ‘Blowing in the Wind’ (1963) and ‘The Times They Are a-Changing’ (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements.
His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. He was as much a poet as he was a lyricist, as much a historian of the past as he is a troubadour of the present. A lover of song, Bob Dylan protested in tune to the march of his followers who faithfully listened to his words of anti-war and pro-peace as he led them in Pied Piper fashion into the cannabis-mist haze of the 1960s.
In many ways, Bob Dylan defied the musical convention of the times as his appeal grew ever greater to the burgeoning counterculture who sought their history through folk songs and controversial causes of the age. In 1965 and 1966, Dylan drew controversy to himself once more when he adopted electrically amplified rock instrumentation, and in the space of 15 months recorded three of the most important and influential rock albums of the 1960s: ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ (1965), Highway 61 Revisited’ (1965), and ‘Blonde on Blonde’ (1966).
In July 1966, Dylan withdrew from touring after a motorcycle accident. During this period, he recorded a large body of songs with members of the band who had previously backed him on tour. These recordings were released as the collaborative album ‘The Basement Tapes’ in 1975. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dylan explored country music and rural themes. In the late 1970s, he became a born-again Christian and released a series of albums of contemporary gospel music before returning to his more familiar rock-based idiom in the early 1980s. Dylan's 1997 album ‘ Time out of Mind’ marked the beginning of a renaissance for his career. He has released five critically acclaimed albums of original material since then, the most recent being ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’ (2020) whilst being almost 80 years old!
Since 1994, Dylan has published eight books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. He has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has received numerous awards, including the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’, ten Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an ‘Academy Award’. Dylan has been inducted into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’, ‘Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame’, and the ‘Songwriters Hall of Fame’. The ‘Pulitzer Prize Board’ in 2008 awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by compositions of extraordinary lyrical and poetic power". In 2016, Dylan was awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Literature’ "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".
I remain firmly of the view that the great Bob Dylan was much more than a protest singer of the 1960s. He has been one of the most important singers of my time and in my life.
Love and peace Bill xxx