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This is a 7-minute anti nuclear war anthem. It was one of 3 social protest songs Dylan recorded on the album. The others were "Blowin' In The Wind
" and "Masters of War." Dylan said that the rain was not literal fallout rain, but "some sort of end that's just gotta happen."
This was based on an old folk ballad variously titled "Lord Randall" or "Lord Ronald," in which a mother repeatedly questions her son (beginning with "Where have you been?"), leading him to reveal he has been poisoned. The song ends when he falls dead to the ground. (thanks, Dan - Riverside, IL)
Ten years after Dylan recorded his version, Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry recorded a dark, claustrophobic cover as first ever solo single. In the UK it climbed to #10 in the charts.
In the liner notes to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Dylan said: "Hard Rain is a desperate kind of song. Every line in it, is actually the start of a whole song. But when I wrote it, I thought I wouldn't have enough time alive to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one." (thanks, Derek - Sarnia, Canada)
Bob Dylan once introduced this song by saying hard rain meant something big was about to happen. (thanks, Kyle - New York, NY)
You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound
, plus a collection of other classics for the likes of Aftershock, Ali and Goodfellaz.
Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.