Music and Mission – Bob Dylan to Nanda Malani

By Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

Music is a social force and unquestionably a powerful form of expression. Many elements of human existence are touched by music. Song has accompanied social movements, social justice and human freedom. Music can deeply affect the way that people think. Therefore, musicians can direct society with their musical ability, passion and sincerity.

Among the singers with a genuine passion for positive social stream, Bob Dylan plays a major role. American singer-songwriter and musician Bob Dylan made a deep impact in 1960 s and his songs became the anthems for the civil right and anti Vietnam War movement. He was called “master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation”

Beside Bob Dylan, another female icon that emerged in 60 s was Joan Baez. As a musician and a singer Joan Baez stood for the ideals that she believed were correct. She protested at misleading government propaganda that clouded the nuclear proliferation, War on Vietnam and attacking of the Civil Right activists as Communist conspirators. Her song Birmingham Sunday was dedicated to the four little African American girls who were killed in the 1963 bombing of a Black Church by the KKK (Ku Klux Klan). Joan Baez pioneered to establish the US branch of Amnesty International that brought awareness on human right violations in the United States. In 2003, she performed in San Francisco to protest against the US invasion of Iraq. Read More