Folk legend and recent Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan has fallen in and out of religious observance throughout his life, but there’s never been any doubt where his true spirituality lies.
“I don’t adhere to rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that. I’ve learned more from the songs than I’ve learned from any of this kind of entity,” the musician said in a 1997 interview with Newsweek. “The songs are my lexicon. I believe the songs.”
The 75-year-old Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday, making him the first singer-songwriter to win the prestigious award.
Some scoffed at the decision, but anyone who’s ever listened closely to the musician’s lyrics would know the award is well-deserved. Dylan has graced the world with hundreds of moving and spirituality charged songs over the last half century. And what a gift that is.
Here are 12 times Dylan ripped open our hearts with his words and helped us see life’s strange and sacred beauty: