The 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Bob Dylan, the first songwriter to win the award. The Nobel Prize committee commended Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
In 2011, Bono paid tribute in Rolling Stone, writing in particular about his favourite Dylan song, "Like A Rolling Stone".
Here's an extract.
'When the desire to communicate is met with an equal and opposite urge not to compromise in order to communicate — when those two things are in perfect balance — is when everything happens with rock & roll. And that's what Dylan achieved in "Rolling Stone." I don't know or particularly care who this song is about — though I've met a few people who have claimed it was about them (some who weren't even born in 1965). The real thrill for me was that "once upon a time" in the world, a song this radical was a hit on the radio. The world was changed by a cranky voice, a romantic spirit, somebody who cared enough about an unrequited love to write such a devastatingly caustic put-down.
'I love to hear a song that changes everything. That's the reason I'm in a band: David Bowie's "Heroes," Arcade Fire's "Rebellion (Lies)," Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Public Enemy's "Fight the Power." But at the top of this dysfunctional family tree sits the king of spitting fire himself, the juggler of beauty and truth, our own Willy Shakespeare in a polka-dot shirt. It's why every songwriter after him carries his baggage and why this lowly Irish bard would proudly carry his luggage. Any day...'
Read the whole piece here.