<>

IT'S HARD TO BE BLIND (Rev. Gary Davis/Bob Dylan)
(Version #1/Version #2/Version #3)


Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).
Audio files are DELIBERATELY encoded "low-fi" to enable faster streaming and are intended as "illustrations" and "appetizers" only.
Official and "hi-fi" recordings can (and should) be purchased at your local record dealer or through a number of web-based companies, like CDNow.



Likely source: Rev. Gary Davis, Riverside RLP-148/RLP 12-611, recorded 29 Jan 1956 (as "There Was a Time That I Went Blind")

At the railroad depots, on the street pavements and in the gutters blind men beg for help from those little better off than themselves. Playing their guitars and shaking their tin cups to attract attention, many sing the blues. In a society where there is insufficient work to keep all employed the blind man has little hope for other employment. So he sings about the life he once knew, of the fortunes of his listeners and only occasionally do his thoughts run to his plight.

Paul Oliver, The Meaning of the Blues, New York, 1972, p. 295

VERSION No. 1

Original Rev. Gary Davis lyrics
Transcribed by Paul Oliver and reprinted in his The Meaning of the Blues, New York, 1972, p. 295

There was a time that I went blind, (twice)
It was the darkest day that I ever saw,
It was the day that I went blind.

Nobody cares for me, (twice)
'Cause I lost my sight and I have to be led,
Nobody cares for me.

It's so hard to have to be blind, Lord, (twice)
I'm away in the dark and got to feel my way,
It's so hard to have to be blind.

I moaned the day I went blind, (twice)
Oh, Lord, tell me how long.
Am I to be blind always?

VERSION No. 2

as performed by Bob Dylan on Minnesota Party Tape, May 1961
Transcribed by Manfred Helfert

Well, it's hard to be blind.
Lord, it's hard, it's hard to be blind.
If I can see, how happy I would be.
Nobody cares about me.
Nobody cares about me.

Lord, I cried the day I went blind.
I said, "Lord, what's happened to me?"
Then I've lost my friends, I lost my sight,
Nobody cares about me.
Nobody cares about me.

Lord, it's hard, it's hard to be blind.
Lord, it's hard, it's hard to be blind.
If I can see, how happy I would be.
Nobody cares about me.
Nobody cares about me.

Lord, it's hard to be blind.
HARMONICA SOLO
If I can see, how happy I would be.
Nobody... HARMONICA SOLO
Nobody cares about me.

VERSION No. 3

as performed by Bob Dylan on Minnesota Hotel Tape, 22 Dec 1961
Transcribed by Manfred Helfert

SPOKEN INTRO: I wrote my own new song to it, it's called "It's hard, it's hard to be poor," but I'll sing it Gary's way (?)...

Lord, I cried the day I went blind.
I said, "Lord, what's happened to me?"
Lost my friends when I lost my sight,
Nobody cares about me.
Nobody cares about me.

Lord, it's hard, an' it's hard to be blind.
An' it's hard, an' it's hard to be blind.
If I could see, how happy I would be.
Nobody cares about me.
Nobody cares about me.

There was a time when I went blind.
Lord, what's happened to me?
I lost my friends an' I lost my sight,
Nobody, nobody...
Nobody cares about me.

It's hard, an' hard it's to be blind.
Lord, it's hard, it's hard to be blind.
If I could see, how happy I would be.
Nobody cares about me.
Nobody cares about me.

Nobody cares about me.


To Lyrics Page
To Table of Contents
To Starting Page