• Fiona Prior

Bob Dylan – Nobel Prize in Literature 2016


The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 has been awarded to Bob Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Hmmmmmmmm. I think that my vote would have gone to Leonard Cohen or Patti Smith had I known the criteria for contestants were broadening but then again …

Dylan’s A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall is certainly profound and memorable, and as appropriate an indictment of the times whether heard for the first time in the 20th or the 21st century.

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son? And 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, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son? And 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, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard 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 that roared out a warnin' I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin' I heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin' I 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, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what 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 in hatred And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son? And 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 a 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 And 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 and speak it and think it and breathe it And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it And I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin' But I'll know my song well before I start singing And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Songwriters: Bob Dylan

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co.


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