Bob Dylan – A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall – Lyrics – an example of the more poetic, complex style of antiwar song.

This is a classic example of how Bob Dylan rapidly developed, to change his style from one of being journalistic and simple into a more poetic and complex style.

This is an anti-war song inspired by the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bob, like many of us, thought that we were all going to be blown to hell by a nuclear war. We did not think we would get home again as the US and Russia squared up and threatened the world with annihilation. How close we got.

Bob thought that he did not have long so wrote everything he had into one song. The imagery is immense – dead oceans, crooked highways, sad forests, burnin’, nobody listenin’, white men and black dogs, guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children, executioner’s face well hidden, mouth of a graveyard – it went on painting pictures! What a song. How powerful!

This was Dylan still singing about issues but using a more poetic language.

We were lucky that time – a hard rain didn’t fall on us – but it is still falling on Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia, Nigeria and Sudan.

When the hell are we going to sort this all out without resorting to violence and war?

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”

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.

If you are at all interested in my writing on Blues and Rock Music you can check out my books here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1474797981&sr=1-2-ent

I would recommend the Blues Muse or In Search of Captain Beefheart to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00TQ1E9ZG/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886379&sr=1-4

or

537 Essential Rock Albums Pt. 1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/537-Essential-Rock-Albums-first-ebook/dp/B00OEMO7TA/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474902569&sr=1-3

Opher’s tributes to Rock Geniuses

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ophers-World-Tributes-Rock-Geniuses-ebook/dp/B00U0NLP4W/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_32?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474967124&sr=1-32

Happy Reading!!

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