Bob Dylan claims in his autobiography that his songwriting drew from motifs and themes passed along the folk lineage. Although his subject matters and imagery are unique to his voice, his songs resonate with a spirit of tradition. While his descriptions are cryptic, his sentiments ripple with a representation of the struggling side of America.
The public pegged him as a topical, protesting, and political songwriter at times, yet he explains his songs have no political underpinnings, only a revealing of the lives of disadvantaged peoples. In one interview he says he doesn't write any protest songs, and defines protest songs as, "singing against your wishes to sing."