Kabir Suman — who made Bob Dylan a household name in Bengal with Kotota poth perole tobe pothik bola jaye (Bengali rendition of Blowin’ in the wind)— speaks to us about the beauty and the flaws of the singer-songwriter. Excerpts:
Bob Dylan’s songs are an integral part of literature, like baul songs in our life. I remember Rabindranath Tagore’s saying in this context. “Gaan elo… Kotha ar sur golagoli kore elo (Songs came… Lyrics and tunes came together, hugging each other like two lovers). Pete Seeger once narrated to me his story of song creation.
When he and Woody Guthrie used to make songs together they always typed their lyrics first. Woody used to type songs with a carbon copy attached to the primary paper. After the song was written, Seeger used to get the carbon copy and then they used to tune the lyrics.