|From: Desire; Year: 1976; Genre: Rock/Folk Rock|
Like quite a few songs in his catalogue, this is a protest song. It was written about an incident of injustice where a man named Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was railroaded in a racial manner for a tripple murder he didn't commit. It was written and released about 10 years after the fact and even though Mr. Rubin Carter did get a retrial about a year or so after the song, it wasn't until another 10 years after that he finally got his freedom. The saddest part about that story was the fact that he lost about 20 years of his life and a promising career as a prize fighter to boot as a result.
Throughout the entire song you can hear not just anger, but rage in every aspect of it. The hurried and driving feeling given by the bass and drums almost gives you the feeling of a loss of control, which I believe was intentional. One of my favourite parts of the song is the violin, which is played in such a way that it wails and screams; it adds a lot to the overall feel throughout the song. However probably the best part is the lyrics and especially Bob Dylan's delivery of them. He uses every nanosecond of the eight and a half minutes to wield his abilities as a singer/songwriter in the way a surgeon would use his tools of the trade. Literally, he didn't mince words at all on his all-out assault on this instance of failed justice.
It's weird, but even though it has been over 25 years since Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was set free this song still stirs me emotionally about as much as it did the first time I heard it. I believe the real depressing and angering thing is how countless others have been hurt by miscarriages of justice and don't have someone to stand up for them and take on their cause like in this case.
Hear Hurricane on YouTube.
My song pick a year ago today: Bad Company - Silver, Blue & Gold
My song pick two years ago today: Louis Armstrong - We Have All The Time In The World
My song pick three years ago today: The Yardbirds - Smokestack Lightning
My song pick four years ago today: Eric Clapton - Pretending