There aren’t many better ways to spend an hour than in the company of the great Bob Dylan and his radio show Theme Time Radio Hour. If you’re in the mood to make some New Year’s Resolutions, with 2021 now offering some respite from 2020, you could do a lot worse than making it your prerogative to binge listen to every single episode he recorded.
The legendary artist has recorded exactly 100 episodes of Theme Time Radio Hour, each of them providing a fascinating insight into Dylan’s world. Every single episode is a dosage of an eclectic, swirling blend of music that Dylan loves from the world of blues, folk, rockabilly, R&B, soul, bebop, rock and roll, country and any other 45s he fancied spinning.
The only remit for the programme was that each episode centred on a specific theme. This topic could be something as mundane as ‘weather’, or abstract like ‘luck’ and Dylan often uses these themes loosely to meander around his favourite records. However, the ‘Christmas and New Years’ episode sees Dylan stick to the subject in question and deliver a smattering of alternative festive anthems. Some are more obscure than others, whilst there’s also a good smattering of reimagined Christmas classics.
Not only did he deliver a slice of what Christmas sounds like in the Dylan household, but, he also read out a list of the ten most popular New Year’s Resolutions. The clip proves that he could read anything and it would somehow make for captivating listening.
The first New Year’s resolutions are believed to remarkable date back over 4,000 years and began in ancient Babylon. Historians state that The Babylonians created the tradition during Akitu, which was their traditional 12-day New Year celebration.
It’s believed that during the festival the Babylonians would plant crops to break in the new year as a symbolic gesture and would either crown a new king or show their loyalty to the reigning king of the Babylonian Empire. The Babylonians would also make promises to the gods that they would pay back their accumulated debts and give back any items they borrowed.
This statement is where New Year’s Resolutions originate from, and they believed that if they kept their word, the gods would take care of them but if they broke them the gods would make them pay.
The chances are that the Babylonians weren’t planning on going vegan, giving up smoking or losing a couple of inches around their waist like people do today. However, the initial idea that they created all those years ago remains over 4,000 years later.
Listen to this short clip of Dylan rattling through the ten most popular resolutions and find out which one that the bohemian singer-songwriter says that he’s going to try. Which one will you pick?