A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall By Bob dylan

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, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard

It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

This is following the style of the poem "Lord Randall" that we read in class. In the third line, Dylan refers to the world's 12 major mountain ranges, and goes on to mention other geographical features that could be tied to Apocalyptic features in the Bible. The mentioning of 7 forests could be in reference to the 7 continents. In the 7th line, Dylan is referring to the large amount of death and dying in the world. The "hard rain" is referring to the impending nuclear fallout and God's judgment that will follow.

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, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard

It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

The second stanza is still following the style of "Lord Randall." Line three mentions a newborn baby surrounded by wolves which I believe refers to the murder of innocence (the baby represents the innocence and the wolves the diminishing factor). Dylan speaks of an empty highway during his travels in line four. The diamonds refer to the way asphalt gleams in the sun. Line five consists of some gory imagery about blood on the hands of men which further develops Dylan's predictions of death. I think the ladder covered in water refers to the slippery social ladder. Line seven refers to people who speak out against oppression and are either abnormally silent or who were "shut up." Lines eight and nine are the same as the previous stanza.

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'

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

It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Continuing to follow "Lord Randall" in the first two lines, line three mentions thunder as a warning. This is a warning of the "hard rain" Dylan has been predicting throughout the entire song. Line 4 continues to speak of a storm, a Tsunami that will drown the entire world. I believe this refers to the nuclear fallout Dylan previously spoke of. He mentions one hundred drummers who are drumming in warning of impending war. The whispers Dylan mentions refer to voices that are not heard by their governments. Line 8 is a metaphor for dying art. Line 9 is about the irony of a sad clown.

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 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

The child next to the dead pony in line 3 is a sad image about the death of innocence once again. Line 4 refers to how African Americans were lowered down to the status of dogs. The young woman whose body is burning is a result of the nuclear fallout. The young girl who gave him a rainbow is ignorant and has not grown up enough to understand what is going on. Lines 7 and 8 mention that love and hatred can be equally destructive to a person.

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 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 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

This stanza matches the Apocalyptic symbols that were previously mentioned. The first few lines portray desolation, hunger, and hopelessness that are to follow the nuclear fallout. The poison symbolizes lies. The executioner's face is hidden in line 8 because death is everywhere and there are many people to blame for it. Line 9 refers to the forgotten people who live in poverty and hunger. Dylan wants the world to know the struggles of those who are forgotten.

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