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Bob Dylan — Hurricane
Album: Desire
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 484









Released: 1976
Length: 8:28
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, "My God, they've 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.

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.

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 wanna draw the heat.

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.

Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in,
Take him to the hospital and they bring 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!"
Yes, 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.

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."

Arthur Dexter Bradley said, "I'm really not sure."
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
Now 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."

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 jail house
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

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.

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.

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.
Yes, 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.
Comments (67)add comment
Awesome song
Awesome Boxer!!!
his body was RIPPED! and his lightning fast jabs and stone-splitting punches let everybody see this man was put in unjust confinement and HE WAS NOT GONNA REST
{#Cowboy}
The Hurricane died a couple of days ago.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/boxing/article-2608961/Rubin-Hurricane-Carter-dies-peacefully-sleep-aged-76-John-Artis-confirms.html
 aarrgho wrote:
Yeah...one of my favorites by Bob
Scarlet Rivera was the fiddler on that album....wonder what ever happened to her?
 
Check out:  www.scarletrivera.com

So many good Dylan songs yet this one seem to be played the most, shame as it's not his best by a long way. Low rating from me.
Where's Natalie Merchent when you really need her, what a god awful voice.
 Pyro wrote:
One of his best CDs, along with Blood on the Tracks....and I'm not a huge fan.
 
I have to agree with this.  I did like "Oh, Mercy" with Lanois' production.


One of his best CDs, along with Blood on the Tracks....and I'm not a huge fan.


great song...  love it...


One of Dylan's Best!
Was he guilty?

I don't know, I wasn't there.

But if he was, it wasn't the first, nor will it be the last time the state framed a guilty man (happens all the time).

Either way, the guy spent nearly 20 years in the hole. Still more time than a lot of killers serve.
 Stefen wrote:
Is there a right wing and left wing spin on this matter?
 
Any time one of us is subject to unjustice, we all are subject to unjustice.
Non of us are free until everyone is free, I understand what that means now.
To think that just because someone is put in prison for something they didn't
do, and all of us aren't effected by that is pure fantasy.  I don't care who you are
you could be put in prison for something you didn't do, or maybe worse yet
I have to alter my behavior(have no dealings with black people or indian people)
so that I won't be a victim.  This not right wing or left wing ideas, it is the
simple truth!  But America has just changed, we still have a way to go, but
we are moving in the right direction.  We all live on this planet, we are all
different, and if we don't learn how to get along, we all suffer.   

 Stefen wrote:
Is there a right wing and left wing spin on this matter?
  
You've got each side's take immediately below your comment.  Left says it's wrong to execute an innocent man; Right says if they were executed, they were probably guilty of something so get over it.

Is there a right wing and left wing spin on this matter?
 Rickvee wrote:
Rubin Carter, wrongfully accused on a triple murder or not, was a bad guy. Read about him on Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_Carter

I like the song but not the subject of it.
  

Siting Wikipedia as a source for an argument doesn't give you a good start or firm foundation for any assertion.  More importantly; why the hell does Rubin Carter being a bad person have any bearing upon the fact that another black man was wrongfully convicted of a crime in America?  "Wrongly convicted or not"? O.K., by that logic any bad guy should be convicted and jailed because they aren't particularly nice human beings.  IMO Dylan is speaking to the recurring injustices that the Rubin Carter incident typfies in this county.
 lattalo wrote:

Rubin Carter did not commit this murder and he would have been a great fighter.
He was a victim of hate and racism, period!  I feel ashamed that this ever happened
in America.  But there is hope, we just elected a Black President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  American is a land of hope again.

 

For the life of me I cannot understand why Americans say they elected a black president. 
If this election had happened in an African country, would they say a white president
was elected? Obama is no more black than he is white. Everyone should be saying
they elected a bi-racial president.

Yeah...one of my favorites by Bob
Scarlet Rivera was the fiddler on that album....wonder what ever happened to her?
 MrGreg wrote:
If only he'd collaborated more like he did with this.
 

If he'd only stopped after this.
 Rickvee wrote:
Rubin Carter, wrongfully accused on a triple murder or not, was a bad guy. Read about him on Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_Carter

I like the song but not the subject of it.
 
Rubin Carter did not commit this murder and he would have been a great fighter.
He was a victim of hate and racism, period!  I feel ashamed that this ever happened
in America.  But there is hope, we just elected a Black President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  American is a land of hope again.

If only he'd collaborated more like he did with this.
 asbellem wrote:
One of Bob's best, in my opinion
 
{#Yes}  Dylan is one of the best poets of our time.  The movie was very good as well.


I was a student at Dylan's own (sort of) U of M when this came out...listened to it over and over.  In my mind, the last great Dylan album.  I might be a sap, but the lyrics to "Sara" are still my favorite Dylan lines.  Check it out, all you great lovers!
I recall a film clip of this played live on the Rolling Thunder tour with Jim McGuinn on guitar and Joan Baez backing vocals. The band punched the chorus lines ferociously. "This is the story of a hurricane..." WHAM! Betcha it's somewhere on YouTube.
One of Bob's best, in my opinion


Very apropros...


Bill, you have a very cheeky sens of humor!
lemmoth wrote:

Three of these four are among my all-time favorites.
Three of these four were enormously influential.
Three of these four are in the rock hall of fame.
I could go on.

Who the heck is Toni (listenable) Childs

(image deleted — it was hosted on a Google blacklist site)
Who the heck is Toni Childs?

Toni Childs' Website (click here)
Her Wikipedia entry (click here)

In 1988, for her album, Union, "Childs was nominated for two Grammy Awards � Best New Artist and Best Rock Vocal Performance (female). Her first national tour was opening for Bob Dylan."

(click here) for a listen (amateur video of track called Zimbabwe).

Can we at least agree that popularity and talent don't always go hand-in-hand?


JohnBauer wrote:
List of constipated-sounding singers: - Bob Dylan - Elvis Costello - Toni Childs (though she's definitely listenable) - David Byrne (Team, help me out by adding to this list.)
Oh, you're not even close. Eddy Vedder and Chad Kroeger make your list sound like All Bran salesmen.
JohnBauer wrote:
List of constipated-sounding singers: - Bob Dylan - Elvis Costello - Toni Childs (though she's definitely listenable) - David Byrne (Team, help me out by adding to this list.)
Three of these four are among my all-time favorites. Three of these four were enormously influential. Three of these four are in the rock hall of fame. I could go on. Who the heck is Toni (listenable) Childs
Odyzzeuz wrote:
That's just crazy talk.
It was? I thought Crazy Talk was singing at the casino.
No, he was a middleweight fighter and never won the title. At his peak he was a contender, but he lost the title fight by unanimous decision.
bugleboy624 wrote:
Oh wow. Dylan does Jimmy Buffet. I swear, he sounds just like Buffet here.
Love these kind of comments. So, let's see, its 1962-63 and the 16 or 17 year old aspiring singer songwriter listens to a Bob Dylan album over at a friends house........
Rickvee wrote:
Rubin Carter, wrongfully accused on a triple murder or not, was a bad guy. Read about him on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_Carter I like the song but not the subject of it.
You get your information from wikipedia? Really? Remind me, is Dave Grohl dead again?
Rickvee wrote:
Rubin Carter, wrongfully accused on a triple murder or not, was a bad guy. Read about him on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_Carter I like the song but not the subject of it.
yes. hearing a different side of the story changed my opinion about how great this song is. one of my all time favorites dropping a few notches after reading TSG and wikipedia and graphic witness. Song is still a 10, just not an 11.
Oh wow. Dylan does Jimmy Buffet. I swear, he sounds just like Buffet here.
Moak wrote: What's playing? Turkey in the straw?
spudboy wrote:
When is Dylan night on American Idol?
That's just crazy talk.
Rubin Carter, wrongfully accused on a triple murder or not, was a bad guy. Read about him on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_Carter I like the song but not the subject of it.
weak dylan from a confused period in his life. as full of fabrications and confabulation as the artist was himself.
When is Dylan night on American Idol?
rickhoran wrote:
wish i could find it. there was a article on the smoking gun about this song and how its far from the truth.... can't find it now, maybe someone else can.... its still a 10 to me even if its 100% fabricated.
Conviction ultimately was overturned on 2nd appeal. Carter was not retried a third time, and was released from prison.
:music:
Ouch. I just "tuned" to RP to relax, and get BD. Too bad, see U later.
wish i could find it. there was a article on the smoking gun about this song and how its far from the truth.... can't find it now, maybe someone else can.... its still a 10 to me even if its 100% fabricated.
This song goes beyond any rating anyone could ever give to it. This song changed my life when it came out. I wore out 2 copies of the LP. Truly amazing work from a genius.
another confused celebrity foolishly going to bat for a felon. mailer, dylan, sarandon, et al...
i have this album from when i was little, but only because my two cousins gave it to me because their pictures are in the inside cover :biggrin: oh..and i hear Spoon!
Go, Scarlet Rivera!
Do we have a Dylan for today's Hurricanes?
More crash symbol!
not usually a dylan fan, but this song absolutely rocks. bob is clear, crisp, and the instruments are dead on. love the drumming... 9!
The lyrics to this song are just amazing, I normally can only take Dylan in small doses. But this is wonderful.
One of the best written songs of all time. Amazing.
9 :devil_pimp:
The raw energy and emotion Dylan gets into this is amazing. In almost any other hands it would be a by-the-numbers cause song. In his it's a beautifully written story
The finest tradition of folk music: bringing institutionalized injustices to light. 'Hattie Carroll' is another fine example. With works like that under his belt, I've been disappointed with the accolades some of his recent work has received. c.
My favourite Dylan album, close call but i think it just pips Blonde on blonde for me. definite 10
nigelr wrote:
One of the finest songs from one of the finest albums........by one of the finest artists!
Fine!
hurricane carter patty valentine
One of the finest songs from one of the finest albums........by one of the finest artists! This man is a genius, pure and simple, and has been putting out works like this for well over 40 years.
This makes me oh, so, happy! This is one of my favorite Dylan tunes. It doesn't get nearly enough air play. THIS is why I support RR. Thanks B&R!
A true all-time classic - Probably his best album!
Mindscrape wrote:
How come this never gets played? Nothing less than outstanding.
Gotta agree - and I'm not a big Dylan fan.
How come this never gets played? Nothing less than outstanding.
Great song!