150+ Best Bob Dylan Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. Profoundly inspirational Bob Dylan quotes and lyrics will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

Famous Bob Dylan Quotes

The Duke (John Wayne) was a massive figure. He looked like a heavy piece of hauled lumber, and it didn’t seem like any man could stand shoulder to shoulder with him. – Bob Dylan

Look out your window, and I’ll be gone. You’re the reason I’m a-traveling on. – Bob Dylan

You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future. – Bob Dylan

I’m not going to read any of these magazines. I mean, because they’ve just got too much to lose by printing the truth. You know that. – Bob Dylan

The corporations have taken over. Even in the recording studio. Actually, the corporate companies have taken over American life most everywhere. Go coast to coast and you will see people wearing the same clothes, thinking the same thoughts, eating the same food. Everything is processed. – Bob Dylan

The times they are a-changing. – Bob Dylan

Now, each of us has his own special gift And you know this was meant to be true. And if you don’t underestimate me I won’t underestimate you. – Bob Dylan

All the money you made will never buy back your soul. – Bob Dylan

But even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked. – Bob Dylan

Art can lead you to God. I think that’s the purpose of everything. If it’s not doing that, what’s it doing? It’s leading you the other way. It’s certainly not leading you nowhere. – Bob Dylan

When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud, I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form. – Bob Dylan

If ever asked to look at yourself, don’t. – Bob Dylan

I once loved a girl, her skin it was bronze with the innocence of a lamb, she was gentle like a fawn I courted her proudly but now she is gone Gone as the season she’s taken – Bob Dylan

They say everything can be replaced, Yet every distance is not near. So, I remember every face Of every man who put me here. I see my light come shining From the west unto the east. Any day now, any day now, I shall be released. – Bob Dylan

Jesus, that ear. He should donate it to The Smithsonian. Brian Wilson, he made all his records with four tracks, but you couldn’t make his records if you had a hundred tracks today. – Bob Dylan

I’m sittin’ on my watch so I can be on time. – Bob Dylan

Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. – Bob Dylan

Come senators, congressmen, Please heed the call, Don’t stand in the doorway, Don’t block up the hall, For he that gets hurt, Will be he who has stalled, The battle outside ragin’, Will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls, For the times they are a-changin’… – Bob Dylan

There’s a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it. – Bob Dylan

I started writing songs after I heard Hank Williams. – Bob Dylan

People are crazy and times are strange … I used to care but things have changed – Bob Dylan

He swift don’t win the race. It goes to the worthy, who can divide the word of truth. – Bob Dylan

Your old road is rapidly aging. Please get out of the new one If you can’t lend your hand, For the times they are a-changin’. – Bob Dylan

May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong, may you stay forever young. – Bob Dylan

If you try to be anyone but yourself, you will fail; if you are not true to your own heart, you will fail. Then again, there’s no success like failure – Bob Dylan

Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet? – Bob Dylan

When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it – don’t back down and don’t give up – then you’re going to mystify a lot of folks. – Bob Dylan

Don’t criticize what you can’t understand. – Bob Dylan

May you have a strong foundation when the winds of change shift…and may you be forever young. – Bob Dylan

Your heart is like the ocean, mysterious and dark. – Bob Dylan

If I lived my life by what others were thinkin’, the heart inside me would’ve died. – Bob Dylan

Don’t get up gentlemen. I’m only passing through! – Bob Dylan

Everybody’s wearing a disguise, to hide what they’ve got left behind their eyes. – Bob Dylan

Her profession’s her religion, her sin is lifelessness. – Bob Dylan

Happiness is not on my list of priorities. I just deal with day-to-day things. If I’m happy, I’m happy – and if I’m not, I don’t know the difference… Knowing that you are the person you were put on this earth to be – that’s much more important than just being happy. – Bob Dylan

Truth is an arrow and the gate is narrow that it passes through. – Bob Dylan

A lot of people don’t like the road, but it’s as natural to me as breathing. – Bob Dylan

Aretha with no goals, eternally single & one step soft of heaven/ let it be understood that she owns this melody along with her emotional diplomats & her earth & her musical secrets – Bob Dylan

We’re living in a Machiavellian world, whether we like it or we don’t. – Bob Dylan

Look at the sun sinkin’ like a ship. Ain’t that just like my heart, babe. When you kissed my lips? – Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build the big bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. – Bob Dylan

There is nothing so stable as change. – Bob Dylan

On the cliffs of your wild cat charms I’m riding. – Bob Dylan

He’s hell bent for destruction, he’s afraid and confused, and his brain has been mismanaged with great skill. – Bob Dylan

Peace is the time it takes to reload your rifle. – Bob Dylan

May your heart always be joyful. May your song always be sung. – Bob Dylan

Steal a little and they throw you in jail Steal a lot and they make you king. – Bob Dylan

We have never arrived. We are in a constant state of becoming. – Bob Dylan

In 1975,Bob Dylan was almost 10 years past his prime – and then he released the best album of his career, Blood on the Tracks. Written and recorded amid a painful divorce, Blood on the Tracks is proof that heartbreak makes great art – just as many of the albums that followed were the opposite. – Bob Dylan

If you need somebody you can trust, trust yourself – Bob Dylan

Never make it perfect. – Bob Dylan

It pays to know who your friends are, but it also pays to know you ain’t got any friends. – Bob Dylan

Bent out of shape from society’s pliers, cares not to come up any higher, but rather get you down in the hole that he’s in. – Bob Dylan

I’m used to writing songs and songs-I can fill em up with symbolism and metaphors. When you write a book (Chronicles, Vol. 1), you gotta tell the truth, and it can’t be misinterpreted. – Bob Dylan

Well, you always know who you are. I just don’t know who I’m gonna become. – Bob Dylan

The purpose of art is to stop time. – Bob Dylan

I hurt easy, I just don’t show it. You can hurt someone and not even know it. – Bob Dylan

My father probably thought the capital of the world was wherever he was at the time. It couldn’t possibly be anyplace else. Where he and his wife were in their own home, that, for them, was the capital of the world. – Bob Dylan

If you don’t underestimate me, I won’t underestimate you. – Bob Dylan

When you asked me how I was doing, was that some kind of joke – Bob Dylan

You say you’ve lost your faith But that’s not where it’s at You have no faith to lose and you know it – Bob Dylan

Technology to wipe out truth is now available. Not everybody can afford it but it’s available. When the cost comes down, look out! – Bob Dylan

Whatever that [transfiguration by Bob Dylan] means, it’s true that the poetic brilliance of the early career would never really reappear. – Bob Dylan

Like the lion tears the flesh off a man, so can a woman who passes herself off as a male. – Bob Dylan

You always got to be prepared but you never know for what. – Bob Dylan

Some people seem to fade away but then when they are truly gone, it’s like they didn’t fade away at all. – Bob Dylan

Creativity has a lot to do with the main idea. Inspiration is what comes when you are dealing with the idea. But inspiration won’t invite what’s not there to begin with. – Bob Dylan

All I can do is be me, whoever that is. – Bob Dylan

Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain. – Bob Dylan

I’ll stand over your grave ’til I’m sure that you’re dead. – Bob Dylan

Heard ten thousand whispering and nobody listening. Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughing. Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter. – Bob Dylan

It’s like my whole life never happened, When I see you, it’s as if I never had a thought. I know this dream, it might be crazy, But it’s the only one I’ve got. – Bob Dylan

I need all kinds of songs – fast ones, slow ones, minor key, ballads, rumbas – and they all get juggled around during a live show. I’ve been trying for years to come up with songs that have the feeling of a Shakespearean drama, so I’m always starting with that. – Bob Dylan

I march in the parade of liberty But as long as I love you I’m not free How long must I suffer such abuse Won’t you let me see you smile one time before I turn you loose? – Bob Dylan

If you don’t believe there’s a price for this sweet paradise, just remind me to show you the scars. – Bob Dylan

Don’t Ask Me Nothing About Nothing, I Just Might Tell You the Truth – Bob Dylan

I stopped smoking. When I stopped smoking, my voice changed… so drastically, I couldn’t believe it myself. – Bob Dylan

I can picture the color of the song, or the shape of it, or who it is that I’m trying to appeal to, in the song, and what I’m trying to, almost, reinforce my feelings for. And I know that sounds sort of vague and abstract, but I’ve got a handle on it when I’m doing it. – Bob Dylan

They say every man needs protection They say every man must fall So; I swear I see my reflection Somewhere inside these walls… I shall be released. – Bob Dylan

If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them. – Bob Dylan

Really the truth is just a plain picture. A plain picture of, let’s say, a tramp vomiting in the sewere. You know, and next door to the picture Mr. Rockefeller or Mr. C. W. Jones on the subway going to work. You know, any kind of picture. Just make a collage of pictures. – Bob Dylan

Well, I sing by night, wander by day. I’m on the road and it looks like I’m here to stay. – Bob Dylan

Ring the bells for the blind and deaf. – Bob Dylan

Passion is a young man’s game. Young people can be passionate. Older people gotta be more wise. I mean, you’re around awhile, you leave certain things to the young. Don’t try to act like you’re young. You could really hurt yourself. – Bob Dylan

You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend. When I was down you just stood there a grinin. – Bob Dylan

For whose sake did you live, for whose sake did you die? Forgive me, baby, for what I didn’t do. – Bob Dylan

The inmates and prisoners, I found they were my kind, and it was there inside the bars I found my peace of mind. – Bob Dylan

The radio makes hideous sounds. – Bob Dylan

I was born a long way from where I belong, and I am on my way home. – Bob Dylan

A cat’s meow and cow’s moo, I can recite them all. – Bob Dylan

Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb/I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from/Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer/It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there. – Bob Dylan

There are enough songs for people to listen to, if they want to listen to songs. For every man, woman and child on earth, they could be sent, probaby, each of them, a hundred records, and never be repeated. There are enough songs. Unless someone’s gonna come along with a pure heart and has something to say. That’s a different story. – Bob Dylan

People call you this or that. But I can’t respond because then it seems like I’m defensive, you know, what does it matter, really? – Bob Dylan

Sometimes I think this whole world Is one big prison yeard Some of us are prisoners the rest of us are guards – Bob Dylan

They asked me for some collateral, and I pulled down my pants. – Bob Dylan

Dealing with my own life takes priority over other people dealing with my life. – Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down Before your can call him a man? . . . The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind. – Bob Dylan

We’re constantly being bombarded by insulting and humiliating music, which people are making for you the way they make those Wonder Bread products. Just as food can be bad for your system, music can be bad for your spiritual and emotional feelings. It might taste good or clever, but in the long run, it’s not going to do anything for you. – Bob Dylan

I never wanted to be a prophet or a savior. Elvis maybe – Bob Dylan

The longer you live, the better you get. – Bob Dylan

I can’t stand to see myself on television. – Bob Dylan

The only thing i knew how to do was to keep on keeping on. – Bob Dylan

I want to use songs that everybody knows or thinks they know. I want to show them a different side of it and open up that world in a more unique way. You have to believe what the words are saying and the words are as important as the melody. Unless you believe the song and have lived it, there’s little sense in performing it. I never wanted to be a singer that – Bob Dylan

You’re gonna have to serve somebody. – Bob Dylan

The motorcycle black madonna Two wheeled gypsy queen. – Bob Dylan

Having these colossal accolades and titles, they get in the way. – Bob Dylan

What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. – Bob Dylan

Every day your memory grows dimmer – it doesn’t haunt me like it did before. – Bob Dylan

I didn’t know whether to duck or to run, so I ran. – Bob Dylan

You don’t necessarily have to write to be a poet. Some people work in gas stations and they’re poets. I don’t call myself a poet, because I don’t like the word. I’m a trapeze artist. – Bob Dylan

People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent. – Bob Dylan

The song was there before me, before I came along. I just sorta came down and just sorta took it down with a pencil, but it was there before I came around. – Bob Dylan

They self-inflict punishment on their own broken lives, put their faith in their possessions, in their jobs, or their wives. – Bob Dylan

There would be brilliant songs, but, as Bob Dylan admitted on the recent Martin Scorsese documentary about him (No Direction Home), the specific muse that inspired It’s Alright Ma would not return. – Bob Dylan

I think women rule the world and that no man has ever done anything that a woman either hasn’t allowed him to do or encouraged him to do. – Bob Dylan

I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom. – Bob Dylan

I failed to communicate, that’s why I chose to leave – Bob Dylan

I’ve never been able to understand the seriousness of it all, the seriousness of pride. People talk, act, live as if they’re never going to die. And what do they leave behind? Nothing. Nothing but a mask. – Bob Dylan

People think they know me from my songs. But my repertoire of songs is so wide-ranging that you’d have to be a madman to figure out the characteristics of the person who wrote all those songs. – Bob Dylan

What kind of alchemy could create a perfume that would make a reaction to a person lukewarm, indifferent and apathetic?If such a scent could be made I’d like some. – Bob Dylan

I’ve always been the kind of person that doesn’t like to trespass, but sometimes you just find yourself over the line. – Bob Dylan

We’re living in times where men commit crimes and crime don’t have a face. – Bob Dylan

let me forget about today until tomorrow – Bob Dylan

Don’t follow leaders. – Bob Dylan

It frightens me, the awful truth, of how sweet life can be. – Bob Dylan

There’s not even room enough to be anywhere/It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there…/I was born here and I’ll die here against my will/I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still. – Bob Dylan

The truth is far from you, so you know you got to lie. Then you’re all the time defending what you can never justify. – Bob Dylan

Sometimes you just have to bite your upper lip and put sunglasses on. – Bob Dylan

I really didn’t consider myself happy or unhappy. – Bob Dylan

It’s not important what other people call you. If you yourself know you’re a fake, that’s tougher to live with. – Bob Dylan

The purpose of music is to elevate the spirit and inspire. Not to help push some product down your throat. It puts you in tune with your own existence. Sometimes you really don’t know how you feel, but really good music can define how you feel… someone who’s telling me where he’s been that I haven’t and what it’s like there – somebody whose life I can feel. – Bob Dylan

After a while you earn that privacy is something you can sell, but you can’t buy it back. – Bob Dylan

To live outside the law, you must be honest. – Bob Dylan

If there’s an original thought out there, I could use one right now. – Bob Dylan

I define nothing. Not beauty, not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be. – Bob Dylan

Music can save people, but it can’t in the commercial way it’s being used. It’s just too much. It’s pollution. – Bob Dylan

I don’t think the human mind can comprehend the past and the future. They are both just illusions that can manipulate you into thinking there’s some kind of change. – Bob Dylan

I don’t call myself a poet, because I don’t like the word. – Bob Dylan

He did ten years in Attica, reading Nietzsche and Wilhelm Reich. – Bob Dylan

Life has its ups and downs, and time has to be your partner. Really, time is your soul mate. – Bob Dylan

A mistake is to commit a misunderstanding. – Bob Dylan

Everything passes, everything changes, Just do what you think you should do. – Bob Dylan

Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than those who are most content. – Bob Dylan

Being noticed can be a burden. Jesus got himself crucified because he got himself noticed. So, I disappear a lot. – Bob Dylan

Sometimes the silence can be like thunder. – Bob Dylan

Done so many evil things in the name of love, it’s a crying shame. I never did see no fire that could put out a flame. – Bob Dylan

People disagreeing everywhere you look makes you wanna stop and read a book. – Bob Dylan

May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true. May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you. May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong. May you stay forever young. – Bob Dylan

Love is all there is, it makes the world go ’round Love and only love, it can’t be denied No matter what you think about it You just won’t be able to do without it Take a tip from one who’s tried. – Bob Dylan

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth. You’re an idiot babe, it’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe. – Bob Dylan

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