'Hard Rain' gonna fall – but original draft of Dylan's lyrics may sell high


A couple of years after leaving Minnesota and heading to the folk music scene of New York's Greenwich Village, Bob Dylan predicted "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall."

Next month a London auction house could make it rain a few hundred thousand dollars when it sells Dylan's typewritten draft of the classic poem-turned-song he wrote in 1962.

Sotheby's announced Tuesday that a September auction will include the "Hard Rain" typescript with hand-scribbled revisions that Dylan is believed to have penned in a hideaway above the Gaslight Folk Club.

Sotheby's says what's being auctioned is an early working draft of the song. It's being sold by family members of the ex-wife of Hugh Romney – also known as Wavy Gravy – who owned the grotto above the Gaslight.

The auction house expects it to bring an amount which, when translated to dollars, is in the range of $236,000 to $315,000, ARTNews says.

The impetus for "Hard Rain" has been much discussed. Reuters notes that Dylan has both suggested and denied it was written in response to the Cuban missile crisis.

Sotheby's also handled the auction of Dylan's handwritten lyrics to "Like a Rolling Stone," which sold for more than $2 million last year, setting a record for a popular music manuscript.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, "Hard Rain" ranks right behind "Like a Rolling Stone" on the list of Dylan's best songs. They called "Hard Rain" "the greatest protest song by the greatest protest songwriter of his time."

Dylan's lyrics are part of a collection of rock and pop music items Sotheby's will auction on Sep. 29.

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