At some point of time during the 6 minutes and 9 seconds of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, you realize that Dylan is no longer just singing a song. He is immersed into it and you know he means every single word he utters. When he mocks the imaginary girl the song is addressed to, there seems to be a strange passionate cruelty with which he asks her ‘How does it feel’, which by the fourth line of it has crescended into a joyous (sadistic?) outburst of how she has no direction home and is like a rolling stone. Before he reaches that joyous crescendo, the last line of the preceding stanza always ends with such a musical emphasis on the last word of the line that you can almost imagine him going berserk when he sings that (i.e. “About having to be scrounging for your next meal”). The energy climbs a step every stanza, reaching the peak of absolute musical madness by the last stanza, to coincide with the well-rounded mockery of the subject of the song.
This is the best song ever. I have not heard another song that uses powerful words, strong music, plethora of instruments from mouth organs to guitars to an almost cacophonous mix of other devices as Like a Rolling Stone does. But, more than that I know of no one else who has sung anything with as much raw power as Dylan does. He wrote the song. He sung the song (better than anyone else, including his own later live covers). He composed the music. He was in the zone when he created this legend of a song. Apparently, it was all in a literal day’s work for him at Woodstock. This song was meant for him and he was meant for this song. I bet if you woke him up at the middle of the night, he could recite this just as he wrote it decades back.
This is what makes it the best song ever.
Ignore the video. Enjoy the song!
PS: It’s a pity that a video version of his original recording is not available. It would have been awesome to see him in action singing this.