Listening to Mr Dylan's 3rd album "The times they are a-changin'" released January 13, 1964 two months after Kennedy was assassinated. From the Only Solitaire Review: Apparently, Mr. Zimmerman was experiencing lots of indirect pressure from his folk music colleagues (and folks down at the record company as well) who wanted to have him put forth a real protest song album - you know, no obscure metaphorical shite like 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall', too artsy and indirect to be appreciated by those whoe believed in music as a political instrument. Bobbie, then, who was writing songs at a dozen per cigarette and already had a good batch of protest songs in store at the time of release of Freewheelin', was quite willing to oblige. And that's exactly what you get - ten protest songs with straightahead, generic, unsophisticated (by Bob's own standards of 1964) lyrics.
Oh, and for anyone interested: I recommend you search up Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Robert Levon Been's beautiful cover of this. He covers Dylan so, so well. He alters his voice but it isn't a cheap imitation.
One of my all-time favourite Dylan songs. Such a tragic story but told so beautifully. Only Dylan, with his intrinsic passion for righteousness and boundless insight, can draw on a simple newspaper article and create an ode this emotional from it; a character so strikingly tangible, a heartbreaking story so seemingly personal. It's as if he knows Hattie; as if the listener now knows her too.