Bob Dylan didn't make the trip to Stockholm to accept his Nobel Prize in Literature. Instead, Patti Smith went on his behalf and performed a cover of his 1963 classic, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." And midway through a beautiful performance, she simply forgot the words, paused, and said, "I apologize. I'm sorry, I'm so nervous," and asked to start the section of the song again. Which she did.
The lyrics for "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" are difficult, by no means easy to remember. Add a case of nerves (which can beset even the most experienced musician) and you have the makings for a very human moment. Watch the video the whole way through. It's touching on many levels.
You can read the text of Bob Dylan's acceptance speech, presented by the US Ambassador to Sweden, here. And if you're wondering why Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature in the first place, you can pick up his handsome, new book, The Lyrics: 1961-2012.
Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.