Editor’s note: The following quiz is reprinted with permission of David Buckna on the occasion of the release of “Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Journey” by Scott M. Marshall. To find the answers, click on the link at the bottom of the questions.
By David Buckna
In the history of popular music, few figures loom as large. This quiz explores Dylan’s biblical connections.
“There’s mystery, magic, truth and the Bible in great folk music. I can’t hope to touch that. But I’m going to try.” – Bob Dylan, in a 1963 interview
1. As early as 1962 Dylan made an allusion to Jesus in song: “To preach of peace and brotherhood/ Oh, what might be the cost! / A man he did it long ago/ And they hung him on a cross.” Name the song.
2. According to author Ronnie Keohane, what one line from Masters Of War (1963) has Dylan consistently omitted from his concerts since 1979?
3. In 1968 Jimi Hendrix recorded what is considered to be the most notable cover of a Dylan song. Name it.
4. What movie soundtrack album did Dylan release in 1973?
5. What are the titles of Dylan’s three gospel albums?
6. On what 1980 Keith Green song does Dylan have a harmonica solo?
7. What’s the first line of “Jokerman” (1983)?
8. The line “One says to the other no man sees my face and lives” is from what Dylan song?
9. For which 1997 album did Dylan win three Grammy awards?
10. Which Dylan album includes “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven?”
11. Which “rock” hymn did Dylan perform Feb. 2, 1999 at a concert in Pensacola, Florida?
12. After years of speculation, it was confirmed in 2001 that Dylan was the model for this bronze statue on top of the north-western tower of Nidaros Cathedral (Trondheim, Norway). Who does the statue depict?
13. When “60 Minutes” correspondent Ed Bradley asked Dylan in 2004, “Why do you still do it?” (perform), Dylan replied: “Well, it goes back to that destiny thing. I mean, I made a bargain with it, you know, long time ago. And I’m holdin’ up my end … to get where I am now.” When Bradley asked, “Should I ask who you made the bargain with?” what was Dylan’s reply?
14. What Dylan rarity from “Under the Red Sky” (1990) did he perform July 10, 2005, in Schaumburg, Illinois?
15. What are the first two lines of “Spirit on the Water” (2006)?
Read the Hollywood Reporter’s story on “Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life” author Scott Marshall’s conclusion that to appreciate Dylan’s influence on pop culture, one first must understand his thoughts on Judaism, Christianity and all things spiritual.
17. In a 2009 interview to promote Dylan’s “Christmas in the Heart” album, Bill Flanagan – referring to “O Little Town of Bethlehem” – told Dylan he “delivered the song like a true believer.” What was Dylan’s reply?
18. He said on May 29, 2012: “Today everybody from Bruce Springsteen to U2 owes Bob a debt of gratitude. There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music. All these years later, he’s still chasing that sound, still searching for a little bit of truth, and I have to say that I am a really big fan.” Who said it?
19. What song on Dylan’s 35th studio album is 14 minutes long?
20. According to Christian minister/author Steve Stockman, what song on “Tempest” “is dripping with the images of the Jewish Passover or the Christian idea of atonement”?
Copyright 2017 by David Buckna. All rights reserved. Used by permission. David Buckna is a Canadian writer who explores the link between religion and pop culture using a question and answer format. His columns have appeared in the Calgary Herald and on websites including Assist News Service, Baptist Press, Hollywood Jesus, dickstaub.com, and atu2.com. Buckna can be contacted at [email protected]