Bob Dylan never-before-seen 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' draft set to sell for up to £200k

The manuscript will go up for auction in London on 29 September

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The Independent Culture

The original type-written manuscript for one of Bob Dylan's best songs is going up for auction at Sotheby's in London.

"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" was penned by the folk legend in a small room in Greenwich Village, New York in 1962, when he was just 21-years-old and now the never-before-seen draft is set to rake in up to £200,000.

Folk singer Tom Paxton has recalled the origins of the song, remembering when Dylan showed him the lengthy draft. "I asked, 'Is this a song?' He said, 'No, it's a poem'. I said, 'All this work and you're not going to add a melody?'"


Dylan's scratchings-out and revisions are clearly visible on the manuscript, offering a unique insight into his creative process. Most interestingly, the draft differs from the final song, which appeared on Dylan's second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, and runs for 6 minutes, 55 seconds.


The song's famous question and answer phrasing is yet to take form and Dylan has crossed-out certain lyrics to bring them closer to what he ended up with.

Once described by Rolling Stone as "the greatest protest song by the greatest protest songwriter of his time", the track's lyrics will be sold in the auction house's 'Rock and Pop' sale on 29 September.