What does A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall mean?

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Bob Dylan: A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall Meaning

Tagged: Rain [suggest]

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A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall Lyrics

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, 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...


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    Feb 14th, 2011 2:58pm report

    As I said it was about the cuban missile crisis, which didn't pop up one day but was a few months in the making.the blue eyed son is just a parent's name for their child. Bob wrote what he felt would happen if the crisis came to fruition, and what the world may be like after it. Guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children. Could be taken as the survivors having to revert to what we may have seen a few thousand years ago. There are so many lines that deal with the aftermath of a nuclear war, it is self evident this is what the song is about.the ending i'll stand on the ocean until I start sinking may be about losing faith as peter did when jesus called him out of the boat and to come to him.peter did okay until he realized what he was doing and started sinking where as jesus grabbed and said to him oh ye of little faith. Last last line but i'll know my song well before I start singing basically says hey!i'm looking into this and I don't like what I see. But i'm gonna research this because I fear we are going to be in big trouble any day now. Dylan said in an interview that he wrote the song because it put into words all the songs and ideas for songs he had in his brain ,but didn't think there was time enough left to write them all


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    Jun 24th, 2017 6:05am report

    I would say 'hard rain' depicts napalm and that the song is about a father talking to his son about his experiences serving in the Vietnam War upon his return. This song was written in 1962 and the USA started backing South Vietnam in the conflict in November 1955. So the timing fits. Bob Dylan was 21 at the time of writing this song. His friends would have been called up for military service. Several of Bob Dylan's songs were about civil rights and he is clearly referring to the injustices of war. Apparently, Bob Dylan would not discuss the meaning of this song. I'm guessing the meaning I am suggesting would have been considered unpatriotic by some Americans.


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    Jan 28th, 2007 1:34pm report

    So this song could have many meanings, but someone requested it.

    "A hard rain" conjures images of a storm that will destroy everything, wash everything clean. Make of it what you will.

    The "blue-eyed son" of this narrative symbolizes the youth of the world who see the wrongs committed and realize that it is wrong and will lead to destruction. Some of the things he sees include a preoccupation with violence "guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children", a suffering of the masses, racism ("a white man who walked a black dog"), maybe patriarchy? ("I met a young woman who's body was burning"), etc. It should also be noted that he sees good things, such as a "young girl who gave me a rainbow" (perhaps symbolizing the movements during that time period like the flower children or the anti-war movements).

    He seems to be point out that large masses of people are suffering, victims of the power structures and the institutions these structures control. "Where the people are many and their hands are empty, Where the pellets of poison are flooding the 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". He wants to reach out to these people before it's too late, and he sees a "hard rain" coming, a sense of change that will shake the very roots of civilization (like an allusion to the Flood in Bibical times).


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    Sep 13th, 9:24am report

    Hard rain is the coming violence in the USA..just as a hail storm destroys the fragile crops.. so the polyglot nature of USA will bring destruction..Dylan studied the newspapers of the US civil war..and saw how quickly men rallied to kill each other.. over what?..nothing.historians know it was not about freeing the black slaves..as Lincoln actually let the south keep their slavery.. if you care to look at the legislation...no.. the USA wants war-it wants continuous wars-it has started a war EVERY generation since arrival- before the mayflower, I mean since ROANOAK and Jamestown..and the reason is very simple but always ignored by your commentators because it makes a lie of 'the god fearing nation'.. it speeds up business and huge profit making..the money men want wars to go on and on..because people(tax payers) have to continually pay them to replace all the destroyed weapons,homes,lives,.. it makes the money move and move fast into their pockets..'the executioner's face is always well hidden'..the words speak for themselves..after all ,you all have to pay the executioners for your demise


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    Sep 9th, 9:32pm report

    A hard rain is a cleansing, as we see the filth and suffering in the world. The cleansing will make the world good again by washing away the filth and the suffering.


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    Sep 8th, 9:17am report

    Definitely speaking about life after a nuclear war and how he saw civilisation. in his own poetic mind.
    We all read what we want in many songs written in a Lyrically poetic and riddle based tune


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    Mar 4th, 2020 3:51am report

    Talking about how amazing this great country is and how these vets got treated horribly


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    Feb 12th, 2020 2:41pm report

    This song is older then people think Pete Seeger played it in 1956.
    when dylan was on the road woody showed him how to make songs from newspapers. so when dylan was at the New York Public Library looking at pictures on microfiche.
    so the song is a bunch of pictures he looked at in a library that people read into there own meaning


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    Jan 29th, 2020 1:28am report

    I think he describes the situation that he expects after the rather violent brake up with his girlfriend on the cover.


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    Dec 16th, 2019 12:42pm report

    See incredible parallels to imagery of Picasso's magnum opus mural picturing the grotesque rubble remainders of a nuclear holocaust.

    Could Dylan have been so observant of another master's genius that they both drew inspiration from the same sagacious taproot?


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    Dec 6th, 2019 12:23pm report

    This song screams from the heart and soul of those who lived through the 60’s and early 70’s generation. I lived this too. The only generation that experienced so much change in a short period of time. I was a writer and poet, from this generation and what came from my heart, then, no one understood my words. It was a generation of traumatic change, of loss, of renewals, of open love, peace, war, confusion, drugs, freedom, hate, spontaneous living, pain, homeless living by choice, Nixon, chaos, soul searching, and nothing gave answers that made us feel empowered. These lyrics spilled out from a soul who was living in that generation. It doesn’t need to make sense, these lyrics were like automatic writing, (search the meaning of that). His words were much like the way I wrote. He was true to himself, true to his time and life. It’s that simple to him but that complicated to another. Let it be.


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    Nov 13th, 2019 11:09am report

    I think that he wants us as a society to improve the way that we treat another, like for once treat us like human beings and not objects that u can use


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    Jul 13th, 2019 7:06pm report

    It means whatever you think it means and has absolutely no reference or relation to what you think it means: simultaneously.

    If it must "mean" something I humbly suggest it means that Mr. Dylan is a genius and a gift to be treasured. After all: a hard rain's gonna fall.


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    Jan 12th, 2018 1:06am report

    Stop trying to "interpret " these words. Just think of this song as a shower for your mind and soul. We accumulate all this dirt,grease and pain from the mass media,political lies and horrors we are forced to witness daily. Let Bob Dylan's powerful poetry pour over you and wake you up.
    He gives us "a rainbow."


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    Dec 18th, 2017 12:03am report

    The motivation and inspiration for this song was the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. And with nuclear war looming, it excoriates those people and institutions that not only allow war to happen but also profit from it.

    It was not about the Vietnam War since it had not yet entered the consciousness of the American people. Vietnam didn't become an issue until around 1967 or so. Likewise, it's unlikely that there are references to flower children or flower power since this movement didn't begin until later in the decade.


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    Nov 22nd, 2015 11:56pm report

    Yes, you can say in some way this song by Bob Dylan [Robert Zimmerman] became prophetic to the people after experiencing the frighting times during this period with the Cuban president Fidel Castro and our American president John F. Kennedy that got themselves in crisis with the Russian nuclear missiles that could've went nuclear on all of us, thank God they did not, but sadly not to long after these crisis our pres. John F. Kennedy was assasinated [sacrificed] that was followed by many many tears that came down as a hard hard rain on us that slowly pushed us head long into the cultural Marxism of terrorism that was beginning to capture our young children to de-Christianized them away from family falues and to alien them in doing they own thing that also turned into a cultural pessimism in our youth and society that was breaking apart.


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    Aug 25th, 2015 8:21am report

    This one is to easy. 'Rain' is a poetic reference to the lies and tyranny from the elite, the false churches, false prophets...government, the'military/industrial complex'. I. E.: any entity that lies (rain = lies) to you.
    Doesn't matter what the rest of the song is about, it's a call, a cry...to the sheep...wake the heck up is what Bob is singing about. See also lyrics to: when the rain comes, beatles. Who'll stop the rain, CCR. Many more, enough said.
    T high out,but I'd like to thank the band and I hope I passed the audition.


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    Jun 29th, 2015 6:56am report

    I saw him in an interview and was asked about the meaning of this song. He said the skies were dark and it looked like it was gonna rain hard. No hidden meaning.

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