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Essay Example: Analysis of the Song A Hard Rains a-Gonna Fall

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Vanderbilt University
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A Hard Rains a-Gonna Fall is a very interesting song sung by Bob Dylan in early 1962. It is not easy to understand the meaning of this song when you are not keen. It is full of symbols and imageries. Bob composed this song in a manner that its lyrics structure is based on inquiries and responses in the form of traditional ballads. The title of the name itself is imagery with a different meaning. According to me, a hard rain symbolizes storm which is capable of destroying many things (Shelton, 2003). The blue-eyed son in the song is also a symbol of the youth of the World who could recognize the sinful acts committed as a wrong that can cause massive destruction in the World. Based on my analysis this song was meant to teach young people on how to live with others in the society.

According to Bob, he is concerned about the violence which is perpetrated by youths. He says that guns and sharp swords are in the hands of young children. He also believes that there are also other good things in the World when he says; "a young girl who gave me a rainbow" symbolizes anti-war movement which will be there during the war. The song is full of empathy and it reveals that there are very many people who are suffering and he considered them as victims of power structures and institutions. From the song, one could select lines such as Where the people are many and their hands are empty. This shows that many people are suffering and they have nothing to do and that the reason why Bob is asking such questions. He uses the words hands are empty to symbolize poverty and the level of suffering they are going through.

Bod describes the nature of the World, he uses questions that do not require answers such as Where the executioner's face is always well hidden, Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten." The author acknowledges that the world is full of suffering and there is nobody to save different souls (Shelton, 2003). It is easy to denote that because the author keeps asking people, Where the executioner's face is always well hidden, where hunger is ugly, where souls have forgotten" It is like people are helpless and require rescue from their suffering.

According to my analysis, Bob has a feeling of reaching out to those people who are suffering before it is late but he sees hard rain coming which he considers a sense of change that can destroy the foundation of civilization. He uses words such as an allusion to the Flood in Biblical times as a symbol of change. After I have listened to this song it is like this is a song about fathers teachings to the son. It is like the father is explaining his life experience when serving in Vietnam War to his son.

Although the author of this song did not reveal the meaning of the song, I imagine that he is talking about unpatriotic American who was mistreating others in the society. This song is prophetic nature and it reveals what would have happened when Cuban president Fidel Castro and American president John F. Kennedy were in predicament with Russian nuclear missiles. The song was written after very many experience people had during this era and Bob predicted what could still happen in future. I consider this song prophetic because after the song there were very many things that happened to lead to countless tears that falls down as hard rain pushing us into cultural Marxism of terrorism that captures young children (Shelton, 2003). It removes Christian values from them and influenced them to do things that revolved into artistic cynicism in our youth and society that was splitting apart.

In my conclusion, this song is poetic and it uses the rain to symbolize lies and tyranny. It also a poetic reference for false churches and prophets or any entity of lies. The main thing about this song is the cry of Bob who is asking people who will stop the rain when it comes. It is like very many misfortunes are coming but he wonders who is there to stop them.


Work Cited

Shelton, Robert (2003). No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan. Da Capo Press. p. 152.



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