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This was the first Dylan album to contain entirely original material, dealing with social reality, poverty and racism, as well as highlighting social changes and the zeitgeist of the 1960s.
Derived musically from Celtic ballad, the title track became another Dylan hallmark, a song with purpose, voicing timelessly the young people’s cry: ‘don’t block up the halls’.
Some see a Biblical influence: "the first shall be last and the last first" in "the order is rapidly fadin'/and the first one now/will later be last".
Ballad Of Hollis Brown, With God On Our Side, One Too Many Mornings, North Country Blues, Only A Pawn In Their Game, and When The Ship Comes In, mix topical politics, forgiveness, anger, and injustice with tantalising biographical snippets from Dylan’s life.