This song has been hijacked so many times, not least by the UK’s loony left, protesting against Margaret Thatcher. Wikipedia will tell you it’s a protest against protest folk songs.
Take the song at face value: as a protest against wage-slavery and a call for the freedom of sovereign professionalism.
There are numerous recordings of this. I love the original, from 1965’s Bringing It All Back Home, but the version from 1979’s Bob Dylan At Budokan is perhaps my favourite.
Here’s the infamous Newport Folk Festival:
And the original album, 1965’s Bringing It All Back Home:
(This post originally appeared on the Burning Pine site)
The sovereign professional walks a solitary path. Sometimes you need a lift, something big and empowering and energising.
This has been the opening song on my daily soundtrack for the last few months.
“God, I feel so strong!”
The following comes from a TV show and looks fairly contemporaneous with the original release…
And, if you have Alice Cooper‘s Billion Dollar Babies album, check out Generation Landslide and Elected.
Cooper, always much more than a shock-pop-rocker, has written some great songs over the years, but he didn’t write this. Hello, Hooray was written by Canadian songwriter Rolf Kempf.
Over on Steve Hoffman Music Forums, I learnt that the song was originally recorded by Judy Collins. Hoffman’s post includes both versions along with a 1990s recording by Kempf himself. I have to say that Collins’ version doesn’t really work for me – but then I’ve grown up with the Alice recording.
Kempf tells the story of the song on his blog, here.
Let the show begin, I’ve been ready.
Image credit: alicecooper.com