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Song

Lyrics by: Bob Dylan, Jacques Levy
# Debut Chart
33 Nov '75 Hot 100

Lyrics

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 somethin 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 robbing the register I hope you understand And I saw them leaving 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 friends Are driving around The number one contender For the middleweight crown Had no idea what kinda 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'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 Alfred Bello had a partner And he had a rap for the cops Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley Were just out prowling around He said, I saw two men running 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 They told him that he could Identify the guilty men Four in the morning And they haul Rubin in They took him to the hospital And they bring him upstairs The wounded man looks up Through his one dying eye Says, what'd you bring him in here for He ain't the guy Here's the story of the Hurricane The man the authorities came to blame For somethin that he never done Put in a prison cell But one time he coulda been The champion of the world


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Four months later The ghettos 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 putting The screws to him Looking for somebody to blame Remember that murder That 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 mighta 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 The cops said, a poor boy like you Could use a break We got you for the motel job And we're talkin to your friend Bello Now you don't wanta have to Go back to jail, be a nice fellow You'll be doing 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 triple 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 And I do it for pay And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way Up to 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 jailhouse 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 just a crazy nigger No one doubted that He pulled the trigger And though they Could not produce the gun The D.A. 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 they 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 sun rise While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell An innocent man in a living hell That's the story of the Hurricane But it won't be over Til 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

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