chrono about
The Nina Simone Database
Barra
The Ballad of Hollis Brown
1963 Bob Dylan
A Bob Dylan song, first released in "The Times They Are A-Changin'", Feb. 19, 1964. The song tells the story of a South Dakota farmer, who overwhelmed by the desperation of poverty, kills his wife, children and then himself.

Recording sessions
1965 May 19-20: New York
Hollis Brown he lived on the outside of town
Hollis Brown he lived on the outside of town
With his wife and five children and his cabin broken down

Well you looked for work and money and you walked a ragged mile
You looked for work and money and you walked a ragged mile
Your children are so hungry that they don't know how to smile
Your baby's eyes look crazy they are a-tugging at your sleeve
Your baby's eyes look crazy they are a-tugging at your sleeve
You walk the floor and wonder why with every breath you breathe

The rats have got your flour bad blood has got your mare
The rats have got your flour bad blood has got your mare
Is there anyone who knows is there anyone who cares
So you pray to the Lord above please send you a friend
Yes you pray to the Lord above please send you a friend
But your empty pockets tell you that you ain't got no friends

Your baby's crying louder now it's a-pounding in your brain
Your baby's crying louder now it's a-pounding in your brain
Your wife's screams are stabbing you like the dirty driving rain
Your grass is turning black there's no water in your well
Your grass is turning black there's no water in your well
You spent your last dollar on seven shotgun shells

Way out in the wilderness a cold coyote calls
Way out in the wilderness a cold coyote calls
Your eyes fix on the shotgun that's a-hanging on the wall
Your brain is a-bleeding now your legs can't seem to stand
Your brain is a-bleeding now your legs can't seem to stand
Your eyes fix on the shotgun that you're holding in your hand

There's seven breezes blowing all around the cabin door
There's seven breezes blowing all around the cabin door
Seven shots ring out like the oceans pounding roar
There's seven people dead on a South Dakota farm
There's seven people dead on a South Dakota farm
Somewhere in the distance seven new people are born

(Lyrics transcription by Roger Nupie)
 
 
1965 December 25: Loenersloot (NL) Mickery Theater
2008 [6:57] DVD 3 Live in '65 & '68 Reelin' in the Years 2.119014 (US)