100 Greatest Bob Dylan Songs

From "Just Like a Woman" to "John Wesley Harding," we count down the American icon's key masterpieces

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37. "Maggie's Farm" (1965)

The song that announced a reborn Dylan, when he opened his debut electric set with it at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, was in fact a folk song: a riff on the evil boss-man tune "Down on Penny's Farm." In its studio version, "Maggie" was a swinging country rocker, but the Newport take wasn't so jolly. Over lacerating guitar, Dylan declared, "I try my best/To be just like I am/But everybody wants you/To be just like them." His defiant tone later inspired Barack Obama, who cranked the song to steel himself during the 2008 election. "I've got probably 30 Dylan songs on my iPod," he told Rolling Stone. "One of my favorites during the political season is 'Maggie's Farm.'"

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