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Irish folk influenced his iconic record

RELEASED in January 1964 The Times They Are A-Changin' appeared during an era of civil rights' protests and swinging Sixties social change.

Combing themes of justice, destiny and upheaval, in often Biblical language, it came to be regarded as the archetypal protest song.

Bob Dylan was just 22 years old when he composed it, and at the time was heavily under the influence of Irish folk music – specifically the performances of The Clancy Brothers (right) and Tommy Makem.

In an interview years later the songwriter acknowledged this debt to Irish music, saying: "It was influenced of course by the Irish and Scottish ballads... 'Come All Ye Bold Highway Men', 'Come All Ye Tender Hearted Maidens'."

Another major influence on the song was the 1963 civil rights March on Washington, at which Dylan had performed.

Over the years the number has become one of Dylan's most covered compositions, and he continues to perform the song in concert to this day.

The tune last made the news headlines two years ago - when the Dylan's handwritten lyrics sold for $422,500 (€308k) at auction.