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  • 8 Years Ago absoftitanium
  • General Comment:
    This song could well be a conversation between God and Jesus, the 'blue-eyed son'. He is reporting on what mankind has proven himself to be all about. God has given mankind the intelligence, the hands and the free choice to live in paradise, and this is what he has done with it. In the process, God has also given mankind enough rope to hang himself good and proper, for all time.

    The last stanza is not meant as 'Jesus' going back to tell mankind about the error of its ways and try for better things: It is long, long past too late for that, and nothing can be done to forestall the inevitable anyway. No, the last stanza is about sending the Prophet of God down to tell mankind to prepare for the Holocaust; it is coming. It is here. This song is about the coming Apocalypse, and the hard rain is the shitstorm man has brought down upon himself with his wars, his inhumanity to all life, his pollution, his wasteful and profligate ways with fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

    Read the fucking words, people:

    '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,'

    The twelve misty mountains are volcanoes, the six crooked highways are mankind's dishonesty, the seven sad forests are the dying trees due to changing climates, the dozen dead oceans; have you read about what's happening right now to the world's oceans??

    'I heard the sound of a thunder that roared out a warnin',
    Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,'

    Have you ever heard and seen a tsunami? More are coming, all over the world.

    'I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children' is a reference to the child soldiers in Africa. They carry automatic weapons and machetes, supplied by the West, and doing the bidding of the Masters of War, rich white people. Child soldiers are now, not in 1962. This is all prophesy, 50 years on.

    'And I'll tell it 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 singin',
    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.'

    Mankind has shit the bed, and I am here to tell you about the Fall. The rain that is coming is gonna be one hard motherfucking rain. Think white hot volcanic ash, landing with the impact of machine-gun bullets, covering the earth. Think earthquakes and tsunamis wiping out every part of civilization, think dead oceans, dead forests, worldwide starvation, disease and horror.
  • 16 Years Ago curious george
  • General Comment:
    This song makes me cry probably half the time i hear it. Especially the version from The Concert For Bangladesh in 1971. It's just so beautiful and is pure genius.

    Concerning the blue eyed son, I think it is symbolic of a bright eyed and inocent child witnessing all these terrible events. As far as the white latter covered in watter is concerned, I think jerrybear got it with an escape route that cant be used because it is either flooded or too slippery to climb. I also think it can sybolize progress and the fact that it will be imposible to continue up the ladder since we have flooded it over with wars and destruction.

    The sybolism in this song is absolutely amazing. Also, some lines can even be interpreted literally as well as sybolically, like the line about highways with no one on them.

    Of all the verses though the last is probably my favorite. The first four are a vision of the end of the world before it happens but the last verse is one of hope. It tells of going into the depths of the ugly things in the world and exposing them to as many as you can. It tells of standing up for what you know is right until you go down and that you will know all sides before you tell the story.

    This is personal to Dylan since he went to the protests and sang at the marches in the early sixties. It also seems to be an example he is trying to set to who ever is listening. I think this song should be played for everyone at certain points in their life. Especially while growing up.Perhaps it could instile some sensitivity towards the harsh realities of war into everyone.
  • 8 Years Ago absoftitanium
  • General Comment:
    The young woman whose body is burning is Kim Phuc, the naked little girl running from her napalmed village in the photo everyone remembers. She's still alive today, speaking out about the end to war. It will never come. She still lives in pain every day of her life. Dylan wrote about it almost exactly ten years to the day before it happened on June 8, 1972.
  • 8 Years Ago HyperBully
  • My Opinion:
    Greatest song ever written. Period.
  • 16 Years Ago goodmorningmisterben
  • General Comment:
    Yes, this was written and released before Bob Dylan was 22, so this was well before Jakob was born, and I do think it's weird, but of course Bob himself has blue eyes, so maybe he's talking to himself, or to the idea of his unborn child. (He also talks about his unborn children in Masters of War, another song off this album. I think while writing these songs he was really fearing for the future of the world.) In the liner notes of The Freewheeling Bob Dylan it says, "[Hard Rain] was written during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 when those who allowed themselves to think of the possible results of the Kennedy-Khrushchev confrontation were chilled by the imminence of oblivion. 'Every line in it,' says Dylan, ' is actually the start of a whole song. But when I wrote it, I thought I woudln't have enough time alive to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one.'"
    The line I really really don't get is "I saw a white ladder all covered with water." Does anyone know what that means?
  • 16 Years Ago Jerrybear
  • General Comment:
    I think the white ladder line refers to an escape route that has been rendered useless. The ladder cannot be used because it is all covered with water.

    This is one of my favorite Dylan songs, and it seems to get more relevant all the time. Doesn't the line "I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children" make you think of Columbine and all the other school shootings that have been happening lately? The "white man who walked a black dog" and "black branch with blood that kept drippin'" would seem to refer to racism. The "young woman whose body was burnin'" reminds me of the famous photo of the Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack.

    This is such a powerful song, with so much symbolism. A prime example of why Bob Dylan is so highly thought of in the rock/folk music field.
  • 13 Years Ago lbsman
  • General Comment:
    When i first started to interpret this song i had no idea what he was talking about but now i believe i have found something.

    What if the blue eyed son was Jesus and the Narrator was God. This could be God talking to Jesus before he sent him down here in human form.

    "I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,"
    might be a path of riteuousness and the new born baby with wolves all around it could be someone who wants to follow God but is hampered by people around him. the list would go on if i had time.

    I think the main thing that makes me believe this interpretation is that when the narrator asks what the son is going to do next the son replys that he will go baack to the worst places and help.

    And I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
    Jesus stood on the ocean.
    But I'll know my song well before I start singin'
    jesus waited 30 years before he started to minister fully

    anyway let me know what you think
  • 13 Years Ago mrMojoRisen
  • General Comment:
    This song is a testament to the poetic and prophetic genius of Bob Dylan. For a man of less than 22 years to be so socially conscious and aware is amazing. Now add deep and meaningfully poetic ability and you get the greatest American song writer of all time. Bob Dylan.

    This song is saturated with metaphors about the human condition and the state of the world. “My blue eyed son” is Bob himself or any young man who has eyes to see the world around.

    The song asks: Where have you been; what have you seen; what have you heard; who have you met? And then it asks the question that matters most: What are you gonna do about it.

    Through brilliant imagery and language that few can match, Bob Dylan paints a portrait of society riddled with both internal and external turmoil. Lines like “I saw a white man who walked a black dog” drive home the cold reality of racism. “I saw guns and sharp sword in the hands of young children” remind us of how we continue to send our children to die in wars.

    All in all he makes it very clear that something big is coming, that bad times are here and more are headed our way: “A hard rain is gonna fall”, and we better be ready to do something about it.

    After expounding upon all he has seen and done, he replies in true Dylan fashion:

    “And I'll tell it and speak it and think it and breathe it,
    And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it”

    Bob Dylan didn’t simply criticize and complain without actively taking steps towards being part of the solution. In fact, his career is proof that he spent much of his life trying to raise awareness of the atrocities in the world, hoping that people would listen and maybe make a difference on a personal level.

    I guess one could say that this song is very autobiographical.
    Or, since it was written early in his career, maybe it would be more true say it was a foreshadowing of his life’s work.

    I could go into greater detail if I really picked apart the meaning of every line, but many of them are self sufficient at driving the point home. Just let me know if care to hear more.

    Note: A perfect companion to this song is “The times they are a changing” (Yet another example of Dylan’s eternal concern and critique concerning the state of the world and the human condition)
  • 10 Years Ago rickyk06
  • General Comment:
    anyone who likes this song should check out the song 'dylan's hard rain' by ryan bingham. it is a great song and he is a badass artist with a very unique sound, a lot like dylan in his own right.
  • 10 Years Ago flotschi
  • General Comment:
    hey im new here, 24, im from austria and i got a question for the native speakers:
    a hard rain was the first song i ever heard from bob dylan, after years of loving this special song i want to do something with it: a retro photo project for homeles peaple. the thing is: my english is not the best so i would thank everyone who could explain me why - it`s a hard rain`S A gonna fall ??? please help me out, i know the meaning, but i cant do a project not knowing the gramar......
    thanx for helping me out!
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