Bob Dylan: “Saved”

Today, 24 May, is Bob Dylan’s birthday. Dylan is a living legend. A songwriter for the ages. Even if you’re not a fan you probably know the lyrics to some of his songs. (“Blowin’ in the wind,” or “Knockin’ on heaven’s door” anyone?) He has a voice like no other and his lyrics move the soul. If Bono is the poet of my generation, then Dylan was definitely the poet of an earlier one.

If you remember the late 1970s, you may recall the brouhaha that occurred when Dylan famously became a Christian. For a while the Christian world was abuzz with its latest celebrity convert. Dylan even became mates with Keith Green and performed on So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt.

And then everything died down again.

People wanted to know, was he saved or wasn’t he? God knows. (If that’s not enough for you, Darren Hirst wrote a nice piece on Dylan’s spiritual journal for Crossrhythms magazine here.)

But what I know is that Dylan wrote some of his best music at around the time of his conversion experience. The classic Slow Train Coming of 1979 was followed immediately by Saved in 1980. Although Saved didn’t do so well on the charts, I like it just fine. My favorite track on that album is the eponymous Saved. I used to play it loud on the church sound system after meetings. It rocks, and the lyrics are the uncomplicated and grateful confession of a man who knows he’s been set free from sin and death.

But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself below. And happy birthday Bob!

Saved, by Bob Dylan and Tim Drummond

I was blinded by the devil
Born already ruined
Stone-cold dead
As I stepped out of the womb
By His grace I have been touched
By His word I have been healed
By His hand I’ve been delivered
By His spirit I’ve been sealed

I’ve been saved, by the blood of the lamb
Saved, by the blood of the lamb
Saved, saved
And I’m so glad
Yes, I’m so glad
I’m so glad, so glad
I want to thank You, Lord
I just want to thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

By His truth I can be upright
By His strength I do endure
By His power I’ve been lifted
In His love I am secure
He bought me with a price
Freed me from the pit
Full of emptiness and wrath
And the fire that burns in it

I’ve been saved…

Nobody to rescue me
Nobody would dare
I was going down for the last time
But by His mercy I’ve been spared
Not by works
But by faith in Him who called
For so long I’ve been hindered
For so long I’ve been stalled

I’ve been saved, by the blood of the lamb
Saved, by the blood of the lamb
Saved, saved
And I’m so glad
Yes, I’m so glad
I’m so glad, so glad
I want to thank You, Lord
I just want to thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

2 Comments on Bob Dylan: “Saved”

  1. Great post,

    I work with a guy at my church who attended Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas in the early 80’s with Bob. He said he saw Dylan in class and around campus for about a semester then Dylan dropped out. I guess people wouldn’t leave him alone.

  2. look what you started Paul, from what I can gather from interviews, not to long ago,in my opinion,from his responses to the questions,he is still a believer,referring to completing a mission he has been given.Hes really a private person, not public at all,I remember in the 60s listening to Dylan, and my father would say,not who is that? ,but what the hel# .is that,sounds like 2 cats fighting. He somewhat pulled out in the late 60s,told the war protesters [Im not your poster boy] I have most of his albums and all the christian era albums…………and I have to say, {pressing on] has to be my favorite..

    ps there is a documentary I saw, its called [the gospel music of Bob Dylan] done by various gospel and soul artists.very good if you can find it.

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