It was an historic performance – how far have we come in granting human rights.

From “In Performance At The White House”

Bob Dylan’s song Times They Are A Changing has been used to push everything from youth rebellion in the 60s to banking in the 90s. 

It never seemed more ironic than last Tuesday night at The White House when Dylan sang “Come Senators, Congressmen please heed the call. Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall.”

Bob Dylan who became the iconic if reluctant leader of 60s boomer children who wanted change is now 69. He was invited as one of the most prominent protest singers in the struggle for black freedom in the civil rights movement.

Dylan was there in front of the reflecting pool at the podium with Dr. Martin Luther King in the famous Freedom March in 1963. King realized that millions of young people singing songs of civil rights and freedom was a quantum leap in acceptance of black equality. Music and civil rights became inextricably linked.

Dylan and other white artists like Joan Baez might have gotten the glory by helping to turn white audiences to the plight of the American blacks but it was the soulful experience of the Freedom Singers and Blind Boys of Alabama that were the most moving performances.

Dylan allowed the bass and piano to carry the instrumentation of the song. He seem ill-at-ease with his guitar playing. He never really used the guitar for more than modest backing.

This performance is in the public domain according the The White House.