Bob Dylan on Songwriting: The Best Written Works Are Not Books But Song Lyrics

From a Wall Street Journal review by Wesley Stace of the book by Bob Dylan titled “The Philosophy of Modern Song”:

In a 1997 Newsweek interview, Bob Dylan told “the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music . . . I’ve learned more from the songs than I’ve learned from . . . rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that.”

He made the point again in 2020’s “Goodbye Jimmy Reed,” his valediction to the man he calls “the most country of all the blues artists in the fifties,” one of whose songs is under consideration in “The Philosophy of Modern Song”: “Goodbye Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Reed indeed; / Give me that old time religion, it’s just what I need.” Dylan’s religion, his philosophy, his code, is the music.