Percy's Song (7:40)

Cover of Bob Dylan: The Collection

From Bob Dylan: The Collection and 13 other releases

“Percy’s Song” is a song written by Bob Dylan. It was an outtake from the 1963 sessions for Dylan’s third album, The Times They Are A-Changing. It was not officially released until 1985, on the compilation Biograph. In the notes to that album, Dylan credits Paul Clayton for the song’s “beautiful melody line.”

Dylan wrote the song from the point of view of a character. The song relates the story of a fatal car crash and a subsequent manslaughter conviction and 99-year sentence in Joliet Prison that is handed down to the driver (a friend of the first-person narrator). The narrator goes to ask the sentencing judge to commute his friend’s sentence which he considers too harsh. The sentence stands.

1 - Bob Dylan, quoted by in the note on “Percy’s Song”, liner notes to Biograph, Columbia Records, 1985.


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Bad news, bad news came to me where I sleep
Turn, turn, turn again
Sayin' one of your friends is in trouble deep
Turn, turn to the rain and the wind

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • Miyavi23

    how this never made it onto a studio album I will never, ever know. [3]

    19 Jul 2:20pm Reply
  • JohnnyMath

    how this never made it onto a studio album I will never, ever know. [2]

    8 Feb 2014 Reply
  • JohnnyMath

    One of his best songs

    8 Feb 2014 Reply
  • ralfsu

    A crash on the highway flew the car to a field. Turn, turn, turn again. There was four persons killed and he was at the wheel. Turn, turn to the rain and the wind. But I knew him as good as I’m knowin’ myself. Turn, turn, turn again. And he wouldn’t harm a life that belonged to someone else. Turn, turn to the rain and the wind... -- Damn. This song makes me WEEP.

    24 Mar 2013 Reply
  • ralfsu

    I walked down the hallway and I heard his door slam. Turn, turn, turn again. I walked down the courthouse stairs and I did not understand. Turn, turn to the rain and the wind. And I played my guitar through the night to the day. Turn, turn, turn again. And the only tune my guitar could play was, “Oh the Cruel Rain and the Wind”.

    24 Mar 2013 Reply
  • ryohei40

    too beautiful, so innocent... Bob Dylan is the best, but the Arlo Guthrie's is wonderful too

    17 Jan 2013 Reply
  • jjarichardson

    Turn, turn, turn again...

    30 Mar 2012 Reply
  • DeadKinks

    Beautiful song. Make sure to check Fairport Convention's 1969 cover, if you still haven't.

    29 Mar 2012 Reply
  • bobdylan60s

    how this never made it onto a studio album I will never, ever know. [1]

    23 Dec 2011 Reply
  • andrewirving


    4 Dec 2011 Reply
  • tomvecc

    I can't tell how beautiful this song is, and with Joan Baez singing it's just perfect.

    6 Feb 2011 Reply
  • paulturner1990

    how this never made it onto a studio album I will never, ever know.

    21 Jul 2010 Reply
  • OdeTooJoy

    so beautiful.

    21 May 2010 Reply
  • dreamnine

    Agreed - most people didn't hear this til the Bootleg Series..

    14 Apr 2010 Reply
  • thommyrotten

    makes you realise how good dylan is when he can leave a song like this off an album

    19 Oct 2009 Reply
  • satisfied__mind

    I agree, Joan Baez sings this wonderful!

    26 Aug 2009 Reply
  • mod_or_rocker

    this song is beautiful. I also love it when Joan Baez sings it in Don't Look Back. Amazing!

    25 Apr 2009 Reply
  • DixonHill


    18 Dec 2008 Reply
  • wastedish

    שיר יפה מאוד

    30 Nov 2008 Reply
  • mbop75

    I loved it when Joan Baez sang this in DLB - someone posted the video clip above

    29 Jul 2008 Reply
  • All 23 shouts

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