Revisiting the moment Bob Dylan sang about gay love

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Bob Dylan lets the music speak for him. Rather than speak for good, Dylan preferred to be judged by his actions. His support for the LGBTQ + community is sincere, and he has proven it through his participation in the Universal love EP with the aim of celebrating gay love.

Two of Dylan’s greatest heroes, Allen Ginsberg and Arthur Rimbaud, were vocal community activists. Not only did they have an impact on Dylan as a writer, but also on his view of the world. Even though the world around him was an intolerant and hateful place that feared change, it’s a mindset Dylan never embraced.

“The Times They Are a-Changin” exemplifies his liberal and progressive stance, but unlike many of his peers, his youthful hopes have not waned with age. In 2018, Dylan was invited to appear on an EP that reimagined traditional wedding songs for same-sex couples, and without hesitation, he agreed.

The EP featured artists who were both heterosexual or from the LGBTQ + community, and folks like Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, and Kesha also participated. Dylan chose to cover ‘She’s Funny That Way’, which was covered by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and ‘Sammy Davis Jr.’ in the past.

However, Dylan’s cover had a twist, and he changed the track to “He’s Funny That Way”. Dylan declined to be interviewed about his participation in the compilation at the time of release, but he didn’t need to because the cover speaks for itself.

Rob Kaplan, who produced the compilation, revealed that Dylan didn’t take any conviction to participate. “And it wasn’t just ‘yes I’m going to do it’,” he told the New York Times. “It was ‘Hey, I have an idea for a song.'”

The compilation was designed to allow same-sex couples to have wedding songs they could dance to that applied to their relationship and celebrated inclusion. “If you look at the history of pop music, love songs are mostly from a heterosexual perspective,” said Tom Murphy, co-producer of Universal love. “If we think of music as something that brings people together, shouldn’t these popular songs be open to everyone? “

Dylan has never made a public statement in support of gay rights. However, an interview with Rolling stone in 1984 provides a glimpse of his perspective. The bohemian singer-songwriter spoke of Allen Ginsberg, and the interviewer mentioned how the Bible says “homosexuality is an abomination.” Yet Dylan did not let his religious beliefs get in the way of his liberal stance. “Yeah, well, but that’s no reason for me to condemn someone,” Dylan replied. “Because they drink or are orthodox corrupt or wear their shirts inside out. I mean, this is their scene. It certainly doesn’t matter to me. I have nothing to worry about with all of this.

Dylan is undoubtedly inundated with requests to support various social justice campaigns, and every time he says yes to one it’s because it’s for a cause he truly believes in. The singer’s entire career has been built around Dylan’s authenticity and support for the LGBTQ + community. is unmistakably genuine. On top of that, it’s a nice cover of a classic song from the Great American songbook, that Dylan has given a facelift to the modern age.

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