50 years ago today, Bob Dylan walked on stage at the Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village and debuted a new song called "Blowin' in the Wind". The song was based off the old Negro spiritual "No More Auction Block" and it initially had only two verses. He soon added the third verse and the next month the song was published in Broadside magazine. Interesting note that Dylan's recorded version wouldn't appear on shelves until August of 1963.
Dylan has sung the song well over 1,000 times in the last 50 years but he grew tired of the tune in early 1964 and kept it out of his live show for nearly a decade. He made one exception in August of 1971 when he agreed to play at the Concert for Bangladesh and was asked by George Harrison if he was going to play the song. He famously mocked back "Are you going to play 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand', before getting on stage to play the tune. (the video is below of that performance)
"How many roads must a man walk down
Before you can call him a man
Yes 'n how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand
Yes and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned
The answer my friend is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind"