I heard Bob Dylan talking in an interview the other day of social media. Somebody was asking him about some of his older songs. They were commenting on how great the lyrics were. Bob agreed and then quoted the lyrics of a song that he wrote. He said, Yeah, those were some great lyrics on that song. I don't know where that came from. I can't write like that now but I wish that I could. That was a phase that I went through . (That was totally, a Jim McCarter paraphase) But I thought it was really interesting. I just assumed that he could go there and do that anytime he sat down to write.
I read another interesting Bob Dylan quote in a book called, How to make it in the music business by Ari Herstand. Bob said, “Critics have been giving me a hard time since day one. Critics say I can't sing. I croak. Sound like a frog. Why don't critics say that same thing about Tom Waits? Critics say my voice is shot. That I have no voice. Why don't they say those things about Leonard Cohen? Why do I get special treatment? Critics say I can't carry a tune and I talk my way through a song. Really? I've never heard that said about Lou Reed. Why does he get to go scot-free?
I remember years ago, I wrote a song and placed it out on a website for song feedback. I still remember the comment. “ You are a no talent Bob Dylan. You're singing is terrible and it sounds like you made up the lyrics as you were singing the song. ” He was especially right on the making up the lyric part. I had a lyric that I wrote. I liked the way it sung so I sang it as my chorus. Yeah, it was a terrible song, but I was at the beginning of my journey. What did he expect or what did I expect? That was probably the best that I could do at the time. (but) I did have the guts to put it out there. Not everybody can do that and take the criticism. (I'm not saying I enjoyed it.) lol
I love Bob Dylan's reasoning. He was just pointing out the truth. He is not the only singer that has made millions singing that doesn't have the best singing voice. He is the one that gets picked on about it? Why ? Maybe because of jealousy. Other singers can sing better than him but they sure can't write lyrics like him. He has his limitations just like everybody else. He is human. (But) he has made the most out of the talent that he possessed. Can anyone agure with that?
I say Bob performing at a festival in front of a big crowd as a young man. He was playing his guitar, playin a harmonica, and singing. No backup singers, no other musicians, no, just Bob alone, doing what he does. It was great. Do you know how intimidating that would feel? My hats off to Bob Dylan. Way to go my friend. That takes real courage that alot of us don't have and will never have.
So if you ever want to learn about writing better songs. take some time and listed to Bob.