Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues - 1965

Introduction to "Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," released in 1965, is not just a song; it's a significant cultural artifact that marked a shift in popular music and influenced countless artists and genres. Known for its innovative fusion of rock and folk, as well as its rapid, stream-of-consciousness lyrics, the song is widely regarded as a precursor to rap and hip-hop music. Dylan's delivery and the song's style were groundbreaking at the time of its release. Let's delve into this iconic track and understand its historical context, lyrical significance, and lasting impact on music. We'll explore Dylan's style, the song's production, and its influence on music and culture. Get ready to be immersed in the world of 1960s music revolution!

Historical Context

  1. Bob Dylan: Explore the life and career of Bob Dylan leading up to 1965.
  2. 1960s Counterculture: Understand the social and political backdrop of the 1960s that influenced Dylan's work.
  3. Folk Music in the 1960s: Learn about the folk music scene during this era and its evolution.

Lyrical Analysis

  1. Stream-of-Consciousness in Lyrics: Discover the technique of stream-of-consciousness used in the song's lyrics.
  2. Protest Songs: Discuss how "Subterranean Homesick Blues" fits into the genre of protest songs.
  3. Bob Dylan's Lyricism: Analyze the poetic style and themes commonly found in Dylan's songs.

Musical Composition

  1. Folk Rock: Learn about the blend of folk and rock music and how Dylan contributed to this genre.
  2. Music Production in the 1960s: Gain insights into the recording technology and techniques used during the era.
  3. Influence on Hip-Hop and Rap: Explore the song's impact on the development of rap and hip-hop music.

Cultural Impact

  1. Music Videos: Understand the significance of the song's innovative promotional film.
  2. Legacy of Bob Dylan: Assess the lasting impact of Dylan's work on music and culture.
  3. Influence on Other Artists: Discover how "Subterranean Homesick Blues" influenced other musicians and genres.

Quiz: Questions on the Song

What innovative feature is notable in the promotion of "Subterranean Homesick Blues"? (Use of a precursor to modern music videos) (!Released as a double album) (!First song to use synthesizers) (!Incorporation of virtual reality elements)

Which genre does "Subterranean Homesick Blues" primarily belong to? (Folk Rock) (!Blues) (!Psychedelic Rock) (!Country)

What year was "Subterranean Homesick Blues" released? (1965) (!1969) (!1971) (!1963)

What literary technique is predominantly used in the song's lyrics? (Stream-of-Consciousness) (!Rhyming couplets) (!Haiku structure) (!Blank verse)

Which of these themes is NOT prominently featured in "Subterranean Homesick Blues"? (Love and Romance) (!Social Commentary) (!Disillusionment with Authority) (!A Playful Take on Chaos)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

Before embracing rock music, Bob Dylan was primarily known for what genre? (Folk Music) (!Blues) (!Jazz) (!Country)

In what city did Bob Dylan kickstart his musical career in the early 1960s? (New York City) (!San Francisco) (!Chicago) (!Nashville)

Which album of Bob Dylan features "Subterranean Homesick Blues"? ("Bringing It All Back Home") (!"Highway 61 Revisited") (!"Blonde on Blonde") (!"Blood on the Tracks")

Bob Dylan is renowned for his role in which movement of the 1960s? (The Counterculture Movement) (!The Civil Rights Movement) (!The Space Race) (!The Beat Generation)

Which instrument is Bob Dylan famously known for playing? (Acoustic Guitar and Harmonica) (!Electric Guitar) (!Piano) (!Drums)

Quiz: Questions on the Lyrics

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" is a line from which song? ("Subterranean Homesick Blues") (!"Like a Rolling Stone") (!"Blowin' in the Wind") (!"The Times They Are a-Changin'")

The lyrics of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" were influenced by which literary movement? (Beat Generation) (!Romanticism) (!Harlem Renaissance) (!Transcendentalism)

Which of these is a recurring theme in the lyrics of "Subterranean Homesick Blues"? (Social unrest and skepticism) (!Unrequited love) (!The beauty of nature) (!Life on the road)

The style of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" is often seen as a precursor to which genre? (Rap and Hip-Hop) (!Heavy Metal) (!Punk Rock) (!Disco)

What does the lyric "Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift" suggest? (Criticism of the education system and job market) (!The importance of lifelong learning) (!The joy of graduating) (!The benefits of early career planning)


Create a memory game with matching pairs for this topic.

Bob Dylan Folk Music Icon
"Subterranean Homesick Blues" 1965 Release
New York City Start of Dylan's Career
Folk Rock Genre of the Song
Protest Songs Common Theme in Dylan's Work

Open Tasks


  1. Create a Playlist: Create a playlist of songs that were influenced by "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
  2. Write a Poem: Write a stream-of-consciousness poem inspired by Bob Dylan's style.
  3. Explore Folk Music: Listen to other folk musicians from the 1960s and compare them to Dylan.


  1. Music Video Analysis: Analyze the promotional film of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and its impact.
  2. Song Cover: Record your own cover of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" with a modern twist.
  3. Dylan's Lyrics: Write an essay analyzing the themes in the lyrics of "Subterranean Homesick Blues."


  1. Musical Genre Research: Research the evolution of folk rock and its influence on modern music genres.
  2. Interview Project: Conduct interviews with people who lived through the 1960s about their perception of Bob Dylan.
  3. Social Commentary in Music: Compare the social commentary in "Subterranean Homesick Blues" to a modern protest song.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the impact of Bob Dylan's shift from folk to rock on the music industry.
  2. Analyze how "Subterranean Homesick Blues" reflects the societal attitudes of the 1960s.
  3. Explain the influence of the Beat Generation on Dylan's songwriting.
  4. Compare and contrast the lyrical themes in "Subterranean Homesick Blues" with another Dylan song.
  5. Debate the relevance of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" in today's cultural and musical landscape.

OERs on the Topic


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