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Sotheby’s to Auction Bob Dylan’s Manuscript for ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’

The original manuscript for Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." COURTESY SOTHEBY'S

The original manuscript for Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.”


Sotheby’s announced today that it has plans to sell the original manuscript for Bob Dylan’s song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” The typed-up, hand-edited sheet of lyrics is expected to go for £150,000–200,000 (about $236,000–$315,000) when it hits the auction block on September 29 as part of the “Rock & Pop” sale at Sotheby’s London headquarters.

The manuscript dates from 1962, the same year that Dylan first performed the song at Carnegie Hall, in New York. Dylan wrote “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” as a poem rather than as traditional folk music. Originally, the protest song was ten minutes long, but, when it appeared on Dylan’s 1963 album The Freewhelin’ Bob Dylan, it was shortened to just under seven minutes.

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” has since come to be regarded as one of Dylan’s greatest songs. Written nearly 53 years ago in a tiny room above the Gaslight Folk Club, in the Greenwich Village, the song’s manuscript will now be bid upon for thousands at one of the world’s most powerful auction houses.

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