Patti Smith Blanks on Dylan's Lyrics

Singer needed 2 takes on 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall,' apologizes for her nerves
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2016 7:03 AM CST
Patti Smith Blanks on Dylan's Lyrics
In this Saturday, July 23, 2016, photo, Patti Smith performs at the Newport Folk Festival, in Newport, RI.   (Jim Rassol/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

In perhaps a reminder that no good deed goes unpunished, Patti Smith showed up Saturday at the Nobel Prize awards to perform in the stead of the elusive Bob Dylan on the occasion of his unprecedented Nobel for Literature—and needed a couple of tries to get his lyrics for "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" right. Stumbling at "I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin,'" Smith stopped and apologized to the crowd the Guardian describes as "jewel-bedecked." "I apologize. I'm sorry, I'm so nervous," Smith said. With the crowd clapping its support, Smith began again and finished what the AP calls "an emotional performance that left some in the crowd misty-eyed." In presenting the Nobel, Swedish academy member Horace Engdahl said the controversial choice "seemed daring only beforehand and already seems obvious." (More Bob Dylan stories.)

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