site logo

Bob Dylan A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall Lyrics

Last updated: 09/13/2014 05:55:39 PM

Artist Bob Dylan
A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?
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
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's you gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
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.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin'
I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin'
I heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin'
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin'
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you meet my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded in hatred
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And what'll you do now my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest dark forest
Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I'll tell it and speak it and think it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin'
But I'll know my songs 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.

Thanks to Aditya Abhyankar for submitting A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall Lyrics.

write a review for this song
(Important: Use a nickname if you don't want your name to be published) Type your review in the space below:

What he said.... | Reviewer: Gil Hamilton | 9/14/14

I guess we all see things in songs that we want/need to see at those moments in our lives. I had to chuckle at the suggestions of this song being about Vietnam, racism, white privilege, etc. In particular I was amused by the suggestion that the "Blue-eyed son" is Jesus, look at the context...the blue-eyed son is the one singing the song, the one answering the question "Oh, where have you been my blue-eyed son?"

In an interview in 1963, the author revealed the line about the poison pellets was a reference to the lies that people were being fed by the media. It follows that many of the other lines are allegory as well.

Any true artist will tell you they are rarely aware of the source of their inspiration. They say they think it is one thing, but it might well be another thing altogether.

Remember, Peter Paul and Mary, contemporaries of Dylan, said that since they can't come right out and say what they mean, they have to "lay it between the lines".

I'm not a mind reader, and I have no interpretation other than my own, and Dylan ain't talkin'. Suffice it to say that more than 50 years later this song still speaks to us, and may be more relevant today than the day it was written.

I saw the debut performance | Reviewer: Bill Gross | 10/15/13

I saw the first preformance ever of A Hard Rain's A gonna Fall. It was at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1962 at one of Pete Seeger's Hootenanies. I was 13 years old and not particularly a fan of Dylan. My father took us 'cause my older brother wanted to see him. We sat high up in the balcony, and I remember to this day, it seemed as if electric currents surged between Dylan and the audience. I thought to myself that he didn't even need a microphone. That's how powerful the peformance was.

Art and lyrics don't have to be rationalised. | Reviewer: Peter Jack | 5/21/13

Art doesn't have to be realistic -- Picasso didn't have to 'explain' his paintings. In the same way lyrics don't always need to be explained or rationalised.

Dylan wanted to create an image in people's minds of a world ravaged by mankind -- war,hatred famine, disease, crime, evil. I don't think he intended each word or phrase to be analysed any more than Picasso would be expected to "explain" each brush stroke.

I'm an artist and would like to create an animated sequence to accompany this song. Perhaps the only way to discover what Dylan really wanted to convey would be to have asked him what images he would like it to contain.

I think 'hard rain' really means apocalypse.

Explanation of one line? | Reviewer: Bryan Simmons | 5/29/12

Black is the colour where none is the number: to me as an electronic engineer that is a reference to the resistor colour code: Black = 0, brown =1, red= 2 etc. But why would Dylan know that? his first job was helping his uncle who had a radio repair business and Bob would have learnt the colour code.

Change | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/18/11

This song has been inspiring me for </= the last 50 years. It has helped me over the years to look at numerous problems people face. For each I have to decide, if I think there is problem and remain willing to keep reconsidering my answer. Regardless of the answer, I acquire all the knowledge I can about the perceived problem; what has been and/or is being done to solve the perceived problem; what justifications are being advanced to maintain the status quo; is the staus quo valid to the core of my belief system; if all the facts present a situation that violates the my core beliefs, then a problem exists and I need to stand up; I need to know when and how did the problem evolve; what possible solutions are there to correcting the problem; what all can I do to solve the problem. "I'm gonna know my song well before I start singing." I will muster any help I can acquire and proceed in face of all forces to the contrary (be they family , friend, or foe) to fix the problem to the extent I can or those with whom I have joined, knowing it may take years or exceed my lifetime.

Short and sweet | Reviewer: Ea | 12/11/11

I agree with all the previous reviews. This is very early dylan and its an amazing album. The lyrics are great and i LOVE they way its structured. Its poetic brilliance. Very important. But i have a funny feeling that someone who posted is Dylan's reincarnate. They all did very well believe in all that. *Hint* the one who praises him the most. But then again - no harm no foul...

11/26/2011 | Reviewer: Billie Capone | 11/26/11

I am a teenager however I am also the child of a child of the sixtied and I was raised on "hippie" music. Bob Dylan's music has been a great influence of late and I've thought this song to simply about the struggles and prejudices experienced in life, especially in that era. I think that the main meesage is that a hard rain is going to fall on everything, meaning that these horrible things going on aren't going to last long and the hammer is going to fall down and bring right into the world. In short, bring Beauty into this world and one day you will receive the same in return. Peace out;)

First time reading the lyrics | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/10/11

For the record I've heard this song a million times but for whatever reason I decided to go through and read the lyrics while I listened to Edie Brickell's cover of it today.

Personally, Im not really religious, but it certaintly feels like Dylan uses a religious theme in this song.

It seems like he depicts the "blue eyed son" similar to Jesus, or another "pure / innocent" blue-eyed son, going out and exploring the world and finding nothing but hard, sad, and lonely places & people.

This theme progresses and finishes with the blue-eyed son choosing hope & giving, over everything else by proclaiming to go back out into the dark world, specifically to poor & needy where he will do his thing :)

Regardless of my virgin analysis, this is an awesome song. Dylan will keep impressing new generations forever probably.

And like "an awakening | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/22/10" said, it was hopeful to hear promising comments coming from other people on this board.

Peace to all,

Jim / Jimmy / James

Thank you, Peter, from 6 years ago | Reviewer: kaya823 | 5/2/11

Still true, always true, so chillingly prophetic to hear this song, and even more so every year. Thank you for writing this note then. Today is a historically important day, as well.
God bless,

an awakening | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/22/10

As a child of the fifties and sixties, i remember this song well. I saw it as an anthem at the time, of those of us who believed in social justice.
Playing it again, I found myself singing in an Irish Brogue. It suits the lyric nicely. "I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow"...It struck me that Dylan was bridging the gap between young white socially conscious kids and the traditions of the oppressed peoples of all cultures.
You can interpret the lyrics as you see fit. Like any great poem, it awakens the individual in all of us.
As he noted on the back of the album Bringing It Back Home": "A song is anything that can walk by itself"...This song not only walks, but carries us with it into this dark, turbulent world, where there is also hope, and beauty.

Peace to all, especially the younger reviewers, whose words fill me with hope and passion.

Total genious: Dylan | Reviewer: Pratik Shrestha | 8/18/10

I'm a teenager... And I'm hell into Dylan. On this, I agree completely with Maddy... Dylan's words cut down deep into our heart and touch our soul. My fav line from the lyrics is
"I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded in hatred"

white ladder | Reviewer: ryan | 10/24/08

i think madison's interpretation of the line about the ladder was very good, i also believe he called it a white ladder b/c of the white supremacy over african americans in that time, and all black ppl had to struggle to climb it. it is a very good song and my hat's off to dylan.

:) | Reviewer: Madison Voris | 10/11/08

hi everyone,
My name is Madison, i am a senior in high school, and i have jut started really getting into Bob Dylans music. This song is so amazing words cant describe how it makes me feel. The lyrics are so meaningful and deep, Bob Dylan is such an amazing singer and song writer! i love the line "I saw a white ladder all covered with water," this is so amazing! to me the ladder represents oportunity, and the water represents struggles, if a ladder is covered in water it is going to be hard to climb. In the 1960's it was really hard for a black person to get good jobs and earn good money, to me they were the ones who had water on white ladders. I dont really know what you might think about it, i could be wronge. i am just so excited that i have taken the time to really listen to Bob Dylan. He has many great messages to share! I also love the unigunes of his voice! It makes every song even more intertesting. Most singers these days focus on the sound of their voices and beat, but Bob was different he focued on his yrics, and truley sent a message that will never be forgotten!
I adore him!

-Madi :)

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall | Reviewer: jesus Velderrain | 1/6/08

I just bought Ann Wilson's first ever solo album in which A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall is included. As I was listening to the song I knew immediately that it was a Bob Dylan's song. I am just mesmerized by its lyrics and and the way the song is executed by one of the finest voices I have ever heard.

Like A Rolling Stone | Reviewer: danny johnson | 10/1/07

I have listened to Hard Rain's Gonna Fall since I was a teenager in the 1990's and even when I heard it, it was well over 40 years old and should probably have been long forgotten. But age does nothing to lessen the appeal of this song and even to this day, I am amazed at how many children actually like Bob Dylan. Arguably one of the better singer/song writers ever.