Hurricane by Bob Dylan Jordan Watts

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night

Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall

She sees a bartender in a pool of blood

Cries out my God, they killed them all

Here comes the story of the Hurricane

The man the authorities came to blame

For somethin' that he never done

Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been

The champion of the world

What he is saying in this verse is that a man got caught for something he didn't do and now hes in prison when he could've done great things in the world.

Three bodies lyin' there does Patty see

And another man named Bello, movin' around mysteriously

I didn't do it, he says, and he throws up his hands

I was only robbin' the register, I hope you understand

I saw them leavin', he says, and he stops

One of us had better call up the cops

And so Patty calls the cops

And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin'

In the hot New Jersey night

What this verse is saying is that the man was only there to rob the register and he did not kill any of the three dead bodies on the floor.

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town

Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin' around

Number one contender for the middleweight crown

Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down

When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road

Just like the time before and the time before that

In Paterson that's just the way things go

If you're black you might as well not show up on the street

'Less you want to draw the heat

This verse is talking about a black man that has been pulled over many times for no reason. And how if your black your gonna draw more attention from cops then a white man.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops

Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin' around

He said, I saw two men runnin' out, they looked like middleweights

They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates

And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head

Cop said, wait a minute, boys, this one's not dead

So they took him to the infirmary

And though this man could hardly see

They told him that he could identify the guilty men

This verse is talking about the cops that came in after the murders and the witnesses are telling them everything they know about the murderers. Also the cop finds out that one of the three men are not dead and that he can identify the criminals.

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame

Rubin's in South America, fightin' for his name

While Arthur Dexter Bradley's still in the robbery game

And the cops are puttin' the screws to him, lookin' for somebody to blame

Remember that murder that happened in a bar

Remember you said you saw the getaway car

You think you'd like to play ball with the law

Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin' that night

Don't forget that you are white

In this verse the cop is talking to the man that said he saw the vehicle the criminals got into and that he shouldn't fight with the law.

Arthur Dexter Bradley said I'm really not sure

The cops said a poor boy like you could use a break

We got you for the motel job and we're talkin' to your friend Bello

You don't wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow

You'll be doin' society a favor

That sonofabitch is brave and gettin' braver

We want to put his ass in stir

We want to pin this triple murder on him

He ain't no Gentleman Jim

In this verse the officer is offering this man a job and to not go back to jail if he helps them bring the criminal in.

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch

But he never did like to talk about it all that much

It's my work, he'd say, and I do it for pay

And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way

Up to some paradise

Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice

And ride a horse along a trail

But then they took him to the jailhouse

Where they try to turn a man into a mouse

This verse is talking about a man who just did his job and then went his own way and now hes locked up and can't do anything about it

All of Rubin's cards were marked in advance

The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance

The judge made Rubin's witnesses drunkards from the slums

To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum

And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger

No one doubted that he pulled the trigger

And though they could not produce the gun

The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed

And the all-white jury agreed

In this verse the cop just wanted someone to blame so he blamed a black man and took him to trial and everyone agreed that it was him and he had no control over it and he wasn't the one that did it.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried

The crime was murder one, guess who testified

Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied

And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride

How can the life of such a man

Be in the palm of some fool's hand

To see him obviously framed

Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land

Where justice is a game

In this verse hes talking about how it was unfair what they did to rubin and that he is very ashamed in his town.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties

Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise

While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell

An innocent man in a living hell

That's the story of the Hurricane

But it won't be over till they clear his name

And give him back the time he's done

Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been

The champion of the world

In this verse hes saying that the real criminals get to live there life in peace and this innocent black man has to sit in jail for the rest of his life for something that he didn't do.


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