Bishop Barron’s Tribute to Bob Dylan

In honor of Bob Dylan’s eightieth birthday, Bishop Barron sung a verse from one of his favorite of Dylan’s songs in tribute:

He does a really good job. This is one hell of a birthday tribute.

As a side note, Bob Dylan is a curious figure—one of the most popular singers of all time, but not exactly gifted with a great voice. To be fair, he’s famous as a singer on the strength of his writing rather than his singing; there are many of his songs I haven’t heard, but the best versions of all of his songs I know of are covers. Heck, Bishop Barron sings the song better than Dylan did in the recording that I looked up of the original.

Just to pick an example at random, Jeff Healey did When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky sooo much better:

I think just about every cover of Blowin in the Wind was better than Bob Dylan’s. My favorite is Peter, Paul, and Mary’s:

That, by the way, doesn’t have the best audio—it clips sometimes. This version is a much cleaner recording:

I think you can make a decent case that even William Shatner’s version of Hey Mr. Tambourine Man is better than the original, but I don’t think that there’s much argument that the Byrd’s version is the best:

When it comes to The Times They Are a Changin’ I think that Dylan’s version is closer to some of the covers, but still Simon and Garfunkel did it way better:

To be fair, his voice works much better for Like a Rolling Stone:

If you compare it to the Rolling Stones’ version, I think it’s about a draw:

Anyway, here is the full version of the song which Bishop Barron sang a verse from (Every Grain of Sand):

The lyrics really are brilliant. Consider this verse, which comes shortly before what Bishop Barron sang:

I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand

It’s quite profound. Or again, this verse that comes right before it:

Oh, the flowers of indulgence and the weeds of yesteryear
Like criminals, they have choked the breath of conscience and good cheer
The sun beat down upon the steps of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay

Somehow these few words capture both the complexity and the simplicity of sin; and of the desperate need to escape it once you can see clearly enough to see it for what it is.

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