Bob Dylan’s 1962 song, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, is considered to be one of the most notable in the singer’s catalog. But according to an early manuscript acquired by Sotheby’s, there were fascinating changes made in the song.
According to Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s books and manuscript specialist, the two neatly typed pages showed that the line of “climbing twelve misty mountains” wasn’t initially intended to be in the song. Originally, Dylan contemplated in “climbing six purple mountains”, but eventually changed it to the “twelve misty mountains” line that is now relevant in the 1962 anti-war anthem.
But the mountains line was just one of the changes that were made, in the never-before-seen early manuscript. The two-neatly typed pages, also indicated other changes including the song’s opening line (in which Dylan initially writes “my blue eyed boy” and “my darling young son”, but changes the last word in both sentences to “son” and “one”, respectively), and the line of “ten crooked highways”, later narrowed down to six.
Heaton stated the manuscript of “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” was an intention as a version to be shared to others, instead of a working draft. But when Dylan, who was 21 at the time of writing the anti-war anthem, began revising the song, it was clear that he had much more ideas spilling out. The newly discovered manuscript is one of three that is known to exist, both of which are in New York. This one in London is set to be sold by Sotheby’s rock and pop sale on September 29th.