Tuesday, January 19, 2010

HAITI CALLING



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.

bob dylan, a hard rains a gonna fall, 1963

7 comments:

soubriquet said...

Lordy Lordy Steve, that's such an apt apocalyptic vision.
I'd always seen it as the world post nuclear war, but it fits, it fits chillingly with the images coming out of Haiti.

And there, truly, for so many, it is the end of the world.

1963, Kennedy dead in Dallas, missiles ready to launch, and strategists talking of "mutually assured destruction" i.e., automated launch orders that would ensure that if just one enemy missile, whether ours or theirs detonated, then death would rain down from the heavens, and there'd be no earth left for the meek to inherit, and no meek surviving to claim their inheritance.
I was ten years old in november of that year, and i was taught that one day it would happen, that we'd get the fifteen minute warning from the d.e.w. line, and then...
Some of us might survive, burned and blistered, searching for food, drinkable water, shelter, hope.

Just where the people of Haiti are today.

Martijn said...

Thank you Steve for this fine dose of optimism. There's so much cynisism in the world today. Well, in any case on the TV, which IS my world nowadays. But Haiti is really touching me. And so is Dylan.

bulletholes said...

Yeah, this song will give you the shivers.
I particularly like Leon Russells version...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4sMSSm0x2A

Anonymous said...

I tend to give the early, protest-song-singing Dylan short shrift. Reading the lyrics makes me realize that's a mistake. Great song, great pic of the man who said, "What's it to ya, Moby Dick? This is Chicken Town."

UF Mike

bulletholes said...

I feel kind of the smae way with some of the early Dylan. This song really stands out in its beauty and stark.
The pic, man, thank Peteski once again. It wasn't pulled from his place, but from one of his groovy links. I really should give credit when I use them I guess.

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