Thursday, January 10, 2013

The story of the Hurricane

Scan the lyrics and it reads like a newspaper report.
Set the words to the music of BOB DYLAN, and "HURRICANE" is a marvelous example of the power of rock and roll.
I've listened to it several times during the past two days.
"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 sh*t 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."
The Dylan composition, co-written by JACQUES LEVY, tells the story of RUBIN "HURRICANE" CARTER, a former professional boxer who was twice convicted for triple murders but whose second conviction was overturned amid concerns that he had been wrongly convicted because of racism and acts of police profiling.
The song kicks off Dylan's 1975 album "DESIRE" and was released as a single (despite being eight-and-a-half minutes long).
"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."
This song is one of my favorites by Dylan. I love how its reportage style sits so comfortably with the catchy melody. Not many other songwriters could have pulled off "Hurricane."


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