L2L Music as Literature (ft. Brian and Catherine Renner)

Bob Dylan and Music as Literature

“ … this is an ill-conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies.”

In 2016, the Nobel committee awarded the prize for literature to Bob Dylan. Not everyone applauded the decision. Many of the disenchanted were themselves writers. Where does poetry end and lyrics begin? Is it merely the presence or absence of music? This week, Leigh Rich and P. T. Bridgeport discuss the difference, with the help of resident musicologist Brian Renner and guest Catherine Renner.

The 1960s and ’70s saw the rise of rich, poignant lyrics from a host of sources — Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, and John Lennon, among many others. At the same time, poetry seemed to lose its way. Do the major poets of that era really include musicians? The Nobel Committee seems to think so. Catherine, Brian, Leigh, and P. T. try to work it out.

(Due to copyright issues, the recording of this episode is not posted to the WRUU archive.)

  • 12:21pm The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell on Hits (Reprise Records)
  • 12:35pm Blowin' In the Wind by Bob Dylan on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (Columbia Records)
  • 12:40pm The Dangling Conversation by Simon and Garfunkel on Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (Columbia Records)
  • 12:54pm Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd on Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd Records)
L2L Music as Literature (ft. Brian and Catherine Renner)
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