The Hurricane Bob Dylan Chooses The Form Over The Content - As Usual

Released as a single in 1975 and part of the album Desire (1976), "Hurricane" is Bob Dylan's 4th greatest hit of the 1970s and one of the few protest songs he has written during this decade. In this story of The Hurricane, Bob Dylan relates what happened to Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and how his life dramatically changed one night in 1966. Since then, the song has been criticized in the same way its content had raised controversy.

8 years after the facts, Rubin Carter sent Bob Dylan a copy of his autobiography, leading the songwriter to come visit him. This is when he started getting interested in what the champion had to say, and began thinking about ways to help R. Carter, until he finally decided to write a song on the subject. A year later, B. Dylan came back to visit Carter and gave a benefit concert the following day which raises $100,000.00.

"Hurricane", like 5 other songs from Desire, was co-written by Jacques Levy. He explains that Bob Dylan wanted to write a song about these events but couldn't find the right angle to start writing on the subject. The trigger was the idea to write it like a script, with scene annotations: "pistol shot ring out on a barroom night", stage directions: "enters Patty Valentine from the upper hall" and title: "Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane".

The singer may have been deeply committed to helping Rubin Carter, the lyrics nevertheless raised some controversy. The accuracy of facts described in the song have been pointed out, such as the claim that Rubin Carter was "number One contender for the middle weight crown" which the Hurricane, despite being a rising boxer, was not. Same thing when Dylan situates Carter "far away in another part of town" when it in fact he had always remained near the bar.