Ballard of Hurricane By Bob Dylan

History of Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the 20th century whose career began in the early 1960s with songs that chronicled social issues like war and civil rights.

Ballad of Hurricane

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

Meaning of this is pretty easy. There was a shooting at a bar and the Lady didn't know who did it but they blamed it on Hurricane.

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

The man that came in was trying to rob the cops, or atleast thats what he says. In reality that could've been the true killer.

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

The cops needed a suspect and when they saw a black man driving around they knew exactly who to put the murder on.

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

The cops took one of the men that was involved in the shootings back to the station to pick out the killer even though he couldn't even see

Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in.They took him to the hospital and they brought him upstairs.The wounded man looks up through his one dyin' eye. Says, wha'd you bring him in here for? He ain't the guy! Here's 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

Even though the man said it wasn't Carter the authority still believed it was him

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

The authorities basically told him that if he didn't say it was Rubin they would come after him and it would work perfectly because Rubin is black and they are white

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

The cops told Arthur that he had to tell them thats who he saw because he wasn't a good man and they basically just blackmailed him.

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

Rubin was a perfect model. He would do his work to make his money then go away in silence but the law was always trying to get him.

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

Every body already knew Rubin's outcome. Everything was stacked against him and all he could do was sit and watch.

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

Everyone lied and set up the innocent man Mr. Carter. He had no one on his side and even if he did it wouldn't of mattered

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

The real criminals were the judges and cops but yet Rubin was the one who payed the consequences. Finally they ended saying he was innoc


In the Ballard of Hurricane, it is based on a true story. Also, it also showed personifications and metaphors. Rubin Carter would eventually be tried again and ended up being released from prison because the judges ruled him innocent and ruled that the first trial was an unfair one.


Don't judge a book by its cover and don't let race be the deciding factor in a life determining event


Created with images by badosa - "Bob Dylan" • 4WardEver UK - "Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter"

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