Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone - 1961

Bob Dylan - "Like a Rolling Stone" - 1965

Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" is a song of monumental significance in the history of popular music. Released in 1965, not 1961, it marked a turning point in Dylan's career and in the wider music landscape. This song, with its innovative blend of folk, rock, and poetic lyrics, challenged existing norms and set new standards for songwriting. To fully appreciate this song, you need to explore its background, lyrics, and impact.

Background and Release

  1. Bob Dylan: Learn about Dylan's transition from folk to rock.
  2. 1960s Music Revolution: Understand the music scene in the 1960s.
  3. Recording History: Discover the recording process of "Like a Rolling Stone."

Lyrics and Themes

  1. Poetry in Music: Analyze how Dylan used poetic techniques in his lyrics.
  2. Social Commentary in Songs: Explore the societal themes Dylan addressed.
  3. Song Structure: Examine the unconventional structure of the song.

Impact and Legacy

  1. Music Industry Changes: See how this song influenced the music industry.
  2. Influential Songs: Learn about other songs inspired by "Like a Rolling Stone."
  3. Bob Dylan's Influence: Investigate Dylan's impact on future artists and genres.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What was the duration of "Like a Rolling Stone," which was unusual for its time? (Six minutes) (!Three minutes) (!Two and a half minutes) (!Four minutes)

Which album featured "Like a Rolling Stone"? (Highway 61 Revisited) (!Blonde on Blonde) (!Bringing It All Back Home) (!Blood on the Tracks)

What musical style did "Like a Rolling Stone" primarily showcase? (Rock) (!Folk) (!Country) (!Blues)

Who played the organ in the recording of "Like a Rolling Stone"? (Al Kooper) (!Mike Bloomfield) (!Paul Griffin) (!Bobby Gregg)

What was the initial reaction of Columbia Records to the song's length? (They were hesitant to release it) (!They wanted to make it longer) (!They were indifferent) (!They wanted to shorten it further)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In which year was Bob Dylan born? (1941) (!1940) (!1939) (!1942)

What is Bob Dylan's real name? (Robert Allen Zimmerman) (!Robert Dylan) (!Allen Robert Dylan) (!Bob Robert Allen)

Before adopting rock elements, what genre was Dylan primarily associated with? (Folk) (!Blues) (!Country) (!Jazz)

Which famous book did Dylan say had a profound impact on his songwriting? (The Bible) (!The Catcher in the Rye) (!On the Road) (!Moby-Dick)

For what did Bob Dylan receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016? (For having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition) (!For his contributions to peace and love) (!For his influence on contemporary music) (!For his lifelong contributions to literature)

Quiz: Questions on the Lyrics

What is the opening line of "Like a Rolling Stone"? (Once upon a time you dressed so fine) (!How does it feel) (!You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely) (!To be without a home)

Which of the following lines is NOT from "Like a Rolling Stone"? (!You used to laugh about everybody that was hanging out) (You know you only used to get juiced in it) (!Nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street) (!You say you never compromise with the mystery tramp)

The song's chorus begins with which question? (How does it feel) (!What did you lose) (!Where are you going) (!Who do you know)

In the song, who is the "mystery tramp"? (It is not explicitly defined) (!A former lover) (!A political figure) (!A literal homeless person)

Which of these themes is most prevalent in the song's lyrics? (Alienation and loss) (!Love and happiness) (!Political activism) (!Spiritual awakening)


Create a memory game with matching pairs for this topic.

Year of Release 1965
Album Highway 61 Revisited
Main Genre Rock
Organ Player Al Kooper
Bob Dylan's Real Name Robert Allen Zimmerman

Open Tasks


  1. Create a Playlist: Make a playlist of songs influenced by "Like a Rolling Stone."
  2. Write a Short Essay: Write about your first impression of the song.


  1. Analyze the Lyrics: Dive deep into the lyrics of "Like a Rolling Stone" and discuss its themes.
  2. Research the 1960s Music Scene: Explore other significant songs and artists from the 1960s.


  1. Compose a Song: Create your own song inspired by Bob Dylan's style.
  2. Debate: Host a debate on the impact of Dylan's transition from folk to rock.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the transition of music genres in the 1960s and how "Like a Rolling Stone" played a role in it.
  2. Analyze how Dylan's songwriting style in "Like a Rolling Stone" differs from traditional folk music.
  3. Explore the social and political themes in Dylan's songs and their relevance today.
  4. Debate the merits and drawbacks of lengthy songs in popular music, using "Like a Rolling Stone" as an example.
  5. Discuss the role of innovation in music, with "Like a Rolling Stone" as a case study.

OERs on the Topic


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