The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
If there’s anyone that knows
Is there anyone that cares?
– Bob Dylan (Ballad of Hollis Brown)
The Best Dylan Covers: Nina Simone – Ballad of Hollis Brown
Ballad of Hollis Brown is a song written by Bob Dylan, released in 1964 on his third album The Times They Are A-Changin’. The song tells the story of a South Dakota farmer, who overwhelmed by the desperation of poverty, kills his wife, children and then himself.
Lyrically, this song consists of 11 verses which bring the listener to a bleak and destitute South Dakota farm, where a poor farmer (Hollis Brown), his wife and five children, already living in abject poverty, are subjected to even more hardships. In despair, the man kills his wife and children and himself with a shotgun.