sábado, 6 de septiembre de 2008

HURRICANE / BOB DYLAN



Hurricane es una canción compuesta por Bob Dylan. La letra habla sobre el boxeador negro Rubin Carter, acusado injustamente de un triple homicidio. Aparece en el álbum Desire en enero de 1976, dando a conocer públicamente el caso del boxeador Rubin "Hurricane" Carter que el musico habia leido en la autobiografia del propio Carter. Es una de las pocas canciones de protesta que escribio Dylan en los setentas. Ocupó el lugar 31 del Billboard.

La historia cuenta que Carter y otro hombre llamado John Artis habían sido acusados de un triple asesinato ocurrido en el Lafayette Grill, Paterson, Nueva Jersey en 1966. Tras un proceso con una amplia cobertura periodística, y con acusaciones de haber sido un asesinato con tintes racistas, ambos fueron condenados a cuatro cadenas perpetuas. Pero en los años posteriores comenzaron a surgir numerosas controversias sobre el caso, relativas a la falta de evidencias y a lo cuestionable de la veracidad de las declaraciones de algunos de los testigos. En su autobiografía, Carter mantenía su inocencia, y su historia llevó a Dylan a visitarle en la prisión de Rahway State en Nueva Jersey.
Luego de esto Dylan desarrolló la canción con un marcado estilo cinematográfico a causa de la oscura tematica judicial.

La canción recaudó suficientes fondos y publicidad necesaria para ayudar a Carter en nuevas acciones legales para optar a la libertad. A pesar de obtener el derecho a un nuevo proceso, Carter y Artis fueron encontrados otra vez culpables y condenados a dos cadenas perpetuas consecutivas el 9 de febrero de 1976. Finalmente Carter recibió en 1985 la libertad condicional y todos los cargos pendientes sobre él fueron retirados en 1988.

Pero tambien hubo varios inconvenientes a la hora de grabarla pues Dylan fue obligado a regrabar la canción modificando la letra, después de que los abogados de Columbia Records le informaran que las referencias al "robo de los cueros" por parte de Alfred Bello y Arthur Dexter podían derivar en un juicio. Ni Bello ni Dexter fueron nunca acusados de tales cargos. Por ello se decidió regrabar la canción. Contó para ello con los músicos que iban a acompañarle en su siguiente gira, entre ellos Don Meehanal (teclado) y Ronee Blakley acompañándole en las armonías vocales. La duración de la canción no fue recortada, pero se modificaron algunas partes de la letra que podían resultar ofensivas. La parte de violin que se escucha es interpretada por Scarlet Rivera.

Un dato curioso para terminar: Desde el 25 de enero de 1976 que Dylan no la toca en vivo.

HURRICANE
Autor: Bob Dylan
Album: Desire (1976)

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, "My God, they killed them all!"
Here comes the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell,
but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Three bodies lyin' there does Patty see
And another man named Bello,
movin' around mysteriously.
"I didn't do it," he says,
and he throws up his hands
"I was only robbin' the register,
I hope you understand.
I saw them leavin'," he says, and he stops
"One of us had better call up the cops."
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene
with their red lights flashin'
In the hot New Jersey night.

Meanwhile, far away
in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends
are drivin' around.
Number one contender
for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about
to go down
When a cop pulled him over
to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that.
In Paterson that's just the way things go.
If you're black you might as well not show
up on the street
'Less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had
a rap for the cops.
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley
were just out prowlin' around
He said, "I saw two men runnin' out,
they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car
with out-of-state plates."
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head.
Cop said, "Wait a minute, boys,
this one's not dead"
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in,
Take him to the hospital
and they bring him upstairs.
The wounded man looks up through
his one dyin' eye
Says, "Wha'd you bring him in here for?
He ain't the guy!"
Yes, here's the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell,
but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Four months later,
the ghettos are in flame,
Rubin's in South America,
fightin' for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley's
still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin' the screws to him, lookin' for somebody to blame.
"Remember that murder that happened in a bar?"
"Remember you said you saw
the getaway car?"
"You think you'd like
to play ball with the law?"
"Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw
runnin' that night?"
"Don't forget that you are white."
Arthur Dexter Bradley said,
"I'm really not sure."
Cops said, "A poor boy
like you could use a break"
We got you for the motel job
and we're talkin' to your friend Bello
Now you don't wanta have to go back to jail,
be a nice fellow.
You'll be doin' society a favor.
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin' braver.
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain't no Gentleman Jim."

Rubin could take a man
out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much.
It's my work, he'd say, and I do it for pay
And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow
and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail.
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man
into a mouse.

All of Rubin's cards were marked
in advance
The trial was a pig-circus,
he never had a chance.
The judge made Rubin's
witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched
he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was
just a crazy nigger.
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger.
And though they could not produce the gun,
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried.
The crime was murder "one,"
guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along
for the ride.
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed
to live in a land
Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals
in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis
and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha
in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.
That's the story of the Hurricane,
But it won't be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he's done.
Put in a prison cell,
but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.