Answers to the Questions Bob Dylan Poses in ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’

Q: “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?”

A: If the roads are very long and take one year to walk down, then 18 roads.

Q: “How many seas must the white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand?”

A: None. She is a dove and doves don’t sail, they fly. Also, birds sleep in nests. This is a stupid question.

Q: “How many times must the cannon balls fly before they’re forever banned?”

A: Depends who you ask. Switzerland would say zero times. Germany or America would say a lot more times.

Q: “How many years can a mountain exist before it’s washed to the sea?”

A: It varies depending on the mountain chain. For example, in New Zealand, the prevailing westerly winds that buffet the islands are a major factor in erosion, along with precipitation, temperature changes, and rock falls. Still, it takes millions of years, so Mr. Dylan is probably fine to go mountain climbing (which I assume is why he asked this).

Q: “How many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free?”

A: Define “free,” Mr. Dylan. These questions are very vague and arbitrary. No wonder no one’s bothered to answer them.

Q: “How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?”

A: Oh, this one’s easy: 343,891 times. Possibly more, depending on how long the man lives.

Q: “How many times must a man look up before he can see the sky?”

A: One.

Q: “How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?”

A: Ideally two ears, especially to hear people crying in stereo, but one will suffice.

Q: “How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died?”

A: Of wealthy white Americans? One or two deaths. Of underrepresented minorities, the less fortunate, schoolchildren, and foreigners? A lot more.