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Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads. Dylan said "This was definitely a song with a purpose. It was influenced of course by the Irish and Scottish ballads ...'Come All Ye Bold Highway Men', 'Come All Ye Tender Hearted Maidens'. I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time." Released as a 45-rpm single in Britain in 1965, it reached number 9 in the British top ten. Ever since its release the song has been influential to people's views on society, with critics noting the general yet universal lyrics as contributing to the song's lasting message of change. Dylan has occasionally performed it in concert. Less than a month after Dylan recorded the song, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. The next night, Dylan opened a concert with "The Times They Are a-Changin'" Jennifer Hudson performed the song to close out the March for Our Lives in Washington DC, on March 24, 2018. The lyrics are well suited to a movement (against gun violence) led by the teenage survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Hudson was backed by a gospel choir.The song has been covered by many different artists, including Nina Simone, the Byrds, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, Joan Baez, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen. The song was ranked number 59 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".