Bob Dylan Song to be Performed by Patti Smith at Nobel Prize Event


Bob Dylan Song to be Performed by Patti Smith at Nobel Prize Event

–Joe Lund

Bob Dylan might not be present in Stockholm to accept his Nobel Prize in Literature, but that doesn’t mean his music won’t be performed. Nobel organizers have announced that Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith will cover the Dylan classic, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at the ceremony this Saturday (Dec. 10).

“I had planned to perform one of my own songs with the orchestra,” revealed Smith, speaking with Rolling Stone. “But after Bob Dylan was announced as the winner and he accepted it, it seemed appropriate to set my own song aside and choose one of his. I chose ‘A Hard Rain’ because it is one of his most beautiful songs. It combines his Rimbaudian mastery of language with a deep understanding of the causes of suffering and ultimately human resilience.”

Citing “other commitments” that “make it unfortunately impossible” for him to attend the ceremony, Dylan instead has written a “speech of thanks” that will be read aloud at the event. It’s unclear whether Smith will do the honors, but she’s clearly looking forward to paying tribute to one of her greatest inspirations.

“I have been following him since I was a teenager, half a century to be exact,” she said. “His influence has been broad and I owe him a great debt for that. I had not anticipated singing a Bob Dylan song on December 10th, but I am very proud to be doing so and will approach the task with a sense of gratitude for having him as our distant, but present, cultural shepherd.”

Below, watch Dylan Perform “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” in a 1964 performance: