Teaching and Contrasting Cultures using "Dust in the Wind", "Winds of Change" and "Blowin' in the Wind"--Part 3
By Kevin A. Stoda, international educator in Taiwan
This is the third of 3 "wind"-themed songs , I used last month to help my junior high students to connect to American music and Western culture through listening, reading, and discussing about symbolism.
Part 3 focuses on the older song of the three, "Blowin' in the Wind".
A lot of adults were inspired to go see him play and sing, but I doubt whether most (or any) of the 7th and 8th grade students in my English Speaking-and-Listening class even knew who Dylan was or for what kind-of-music (genres) he was popular in during the 1960s, i.e. when the song "Blowin' in the Wind", was written. Bob Dylan's lyrics have now been used in music and literature classes in public schools in America for generations--not only to impart literature but to help one generation share with another its collection of memories. Moreover, all viewers of 1990s pop culture can recall, too, how the "Dylan" texts were used in the film DANGEROUS MINDS to motivate under-achieving students. 
It is believed that "Blowin' in the Wind" is Dylan's most covered song of all time.
It was written in 1962 and became very popular only when Peter, Paul, and Mary made it into a protest classic a year later. It has been recorded by Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, ".you-name-it.
According to music lore, "Dylan wrote this ["Blowin' in the Wind"] in about 10 minutes one afternoon. He put words to the melody of an old slave song called "No More Auction Block,' which he might have learned from Carter family records. In the evening, Dylan took the song to the nightclub Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village, where he was due to play a set. Before playing it, he announced, "This here ain't no protest song or anything like that, 'cause I don't write no protest songs.'"
Naturally, Dylan was being somewhat ironic. However, I was interested in what my students of 7th and 8th graders would pick up or interpret.
THIS HERE AIN'T NO PROTEST SONG ?