Much of his best known work is from the 1960s, when his musical shadow was so large that he became a documentarian and reluctant figurehead of American unrest. The civil rights movement had no more moving anthem than his song "Blowin' in the Wind." Millions of young people embraced his song "The Times They Are A-Changin'" during that era of extreme change. The radical insurgent group The Weathermen named themselves after a lyric in Dylan's song "Subterranean Homesick Blues" ("You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows").
More broadly, Dylan is credited with expanding the possible vocabulary of popular music, moving it beyond the traditional territory of boy-and-girl into the heady realms of politics, philosophy, and a kind of stream-of-consciousness absurdist humor that defies easy description. This lyrical innovation has occurred within the context of Dylan's steadfast devotion to the richest traditions of American song, from country blues to Scottish ballads, rockabilly to rock 'n' roll, even jazz, swing and Broadway.