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Hurricane from the album Desire
Copyright 1975 Ram's Horn Music
Words by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy

Music by Bob Dylan


Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night

Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, "My God....they killed them all!"

Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For something that he never done
Put in a prison cell but one time
He coulda been the Champion of the World...

Three bodies lying there does Patty see
And another man named Bello moving around mysteriously
"I didn't do it" he says, and he throws up his hands
"I was only robbin' the register, I hope you understand."
"I saw them leavin," he says and he stops.
"One of us had better call up the cops."
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene
With their red lights flashing In the hot New Jersey night...

Meanwhile far away in another part of town,
Rubin Carter and a couple of his friends are driving around.
The number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kind of shit 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 just the ways things go...
If you're black you might as well not show
Up on the streets
Unless you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin' around
He said "I saw two men runnin' out, they looked like middleweights,
"They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates."
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head
Cop said "Wait a minute boys, this one's not dead!"
So they took him to the infirmary.
And though this man could hardly see
He told them he could identify the guilty man

Four in the morning and they haul Rubin in
They took him to the hospital and they brought him upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dying eye
Says, "Wha'd you bring him in here for?
He ain't the guy..."

Yes, here's the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For something that he never done
Put in a prison cell but one time
he coulda been The Champion of the World

Four months later the ghetto's are in flame
Rubin's in South America, fighting for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley's still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin the screws to him, looking for somebody to blame.
"Remember that murder that just happened in a bar?"
"Remember you said you saw the getaway car?"
"You think you'd like to play ball with the law?"
"Think it might have been that fighter that you saw running that night?"
"Don't forget that you are white."

Arthur Dexter Bradley said "I'm really not sure."
Cops said "A poor boy like you could use a break."
"We got you for the motel job and were talking to your friend Bello."
"You don't want to have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow."
"You'll be doin' society a favor."
"That son of a bitch is brave and getting braver."
"We want to put his ass in the stir."
"We want to pin this trip murder on him."
"He ain't no Gentleman Jim."

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
"It's my work," he'd say,
"I do it for pay."
"And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
"Up into some paradise,
"Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
"And ride a horse along a trail."
But then they took him to the jail house,
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

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
And to the black folks he was a crazy nigger
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger
And though they could not produce the gun
The DA said he was the one who did the deed,
And the all white jury agreed.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was Murder One, guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and the both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed
To live in a land where justice is a game

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sunrise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.

Yes, that's the story of the Hurricane
But it won't be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he's done...
Put in a prison cell but one time
he coulda been The Champion of the World...