Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Hard Rain Has Fallen

Through connections I was able to get the DVD version of “The Concert for Bangladesh,” which was released in Hong Kong some years ago. George Harrison. Eric Clapton. Ringo Starr. Billy Preston. Badfinger. Leon Russell. All that talent, and then George walks up to the mic and announces, “I’d like to introduce a friend of us all, Mr. Bob Dylan” and the crowd erupts into a deafening roar.

And he opened with the prophetic and profound “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.” I can barely watch it without shedding a tear. How many ways can one song be so relevant, so poetic, and so damning?

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“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”
By Bob Dylan

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was wounded with hatred,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

***

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5 Comments:

Blogger fuckstick2020 said...

Crazy stuff going on.

I wish they would give time to the Salvation Army too.

They don't charge victims for their services.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

Very apt. And all these years Dylan's been denying he's a spokesman for anything, that his songs are nothing but 'entertainment'.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

And to think people were decrying protest songs as being irrelevant on a music mailing list a few weeks ago, without stopping to think what we can do in the present by learning what happened in the past.

Why i'd like to think that this will digust a nation and bring about political change, the simple fact of the matter is for all the 'things will never be the same again' statements, memories fade quickly and society continues on it's own merry way, for change of any kind requires committment and hard work, and most people can't be arsed.

I remember everyone clucking their tongues at me in the workplace for bringing up much the same point after both Princess Di's funeral, and September 11th.

People don't like to hear the truth.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Decatur Dem said...

What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline



CHORUS
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has
done
To this poor cracker's land."
Randy Newman, Louisiana 1927

9:00 PM  

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