Home | About | Donate

Where the People Are Many and Their Hands Are All Empty: Patti Smith Sings For Dylan At Nobel Ceremony


#1

Where the People Are Many and Their Hands Are All Empty: Patti Smith Sings For Dylan At Nobel Ceremony

After all the clamor, Patti Smith accepted Bob Dylan's Nobel in Literature at a Stockholm ceremony by offering up to the glittering audience a momentarily stumbling but ultimately searing rendition of "A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall" that presumably laid to rest those doubting whether the blue-eyed son's decades of ineffable poetry are literature. In a letter to the committee, Dylan conceded that, like Shakespeare, he'd never much considered the question, but thanked the Swedish Academy for asking it and "providing such a wonderful answer."


#2

With all due respect to Bob Dylan, and his songs were an inspiration to me back in the day, why would anybody still take seriously the awards of the Nobel committee? Didn't the Peace awards to Obama and Kissinger teach us anything?
I love it that Fidel Castro insisted that there be no statues of him, no streets named after him following his death. The cult of personality was something he resisted.
Why do people need awards?


#3

What a perfect song to express the depth of Dylan! In spite of a momentary falter, Patti Smith did real justice to the song. Many in the audience there, perhaps for their first time, got to feel the power of Bob Dylan. Lots of watering eyes. Yes, folks, LITERATURE!


#4

"Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden"

Portrait of America - true then and even more so now. Dylan is a brilliant writer whose tremendous insight and critical thinking skills are readily apparent in his literature.

(I must admit to thinking that when he sees this video he might have wished he had sent Joan Baez instead but maybe it was logistics.)


#5

The 'Peace Prize Committee' is separate from the literature and sciences committees. I think many scientists and writers consider this to be the highest awards in their fields, the others, including "peace' and 'economics,' notwithstanding.


#6

Nary a dry eye here and even one or three in the audience. Can see why Bob didn't go. Patti Smith ROCKS!


#7

Thanks for correcting me on that.


#8

Horseshit Horseshit Horseshit Horseshit----God, why did he send this American embarrassment?


#9

Patti's commitment to Honesty, which has been her Greatest Strength, saw her through this challenging moment, bringing out the Best in her Audience, as well.

That Bob wrote this, over a half Century ago, illuminates that when you Strike Truth, it is Timeless.


#10

Okay, let's understand that one cdfannot go bafck in time no matter how seductively appealing the notion might be. Bob Dylan by refusing to be a part of the hoopla of getting the Nobel Prize (but thanking the Nobel committee anyway for its consideration) is bgest epitomized by one of his own songs (not the one that Patti performed).

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth,
"Rip down all hate," I screamed,
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull I dreamed.
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow,
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.
Girl's faces formed the forward path
From phony jealousy,
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history.
Flung down by corpse evangelist
Unthought of, though, somehow,
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.
A self-ordained professor's tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school.
"Equality," I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.
In a soldier's stance I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach.
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.
Yes, my guards stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect.
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow,
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.


#11

Dylan deserves the honor and attention regardless of where it originates. He should have been awarded sainthood as far as I am concerned.

For all the self-proclaimed progressives (think H Clinton 30 years in politics) this proves how little progress has actually been made.

"Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number"


#12

How appropriate that the "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" article is next to the article of bombs falling on Yemen. Good work, CD !


#13

There are very few times that I wish that Common Dreams had a down vote button.
This is one of them.

Patti Smith is a treasure.


#14

Assuring them he was honored and "most definitely with you in spirit" he then let them know where they could send the $1 million check.

You blew them off, Bob, yet still managed to keep the money, because as you yourself wrote: "The only thing we knew for sure about Henry Porter is that his name wasn’t Henry Porter"


#15

Treasure, or perennial embarrassment? Especially when your piece includes "And I'll know my song well before I start singing...." Dylan could have sent a college freshman.


#16

I guess the next nobel's will be for hillary and honesty in party politics and bruce for the greatest guitarist ever. And wasserman for hillary's nobel presenter.


#17

Thank God he didn't send you ...


#18

I read somewhere that right before he died, when Leonard Cohen was told about the Nobel price for Dylan he replied: "It's as if we gave a medal to mount Everest for being the tallest mountain."


#19

Excellent!