Patti Smith forgot Bob Dylan lyrics at Nobel Prize ceremony — but it worked in her favor


Punk-rock singer Patti Smith was so nervous when performing a Bob Dylan song at the Nobel Prize ceremony that she forgot the lyrics to one of his songs.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan onstage during the 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards at The Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, on Jan. 12, 2012. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1)

She was accepting the award for literature on behalf of the Jewish singer, who said he could not attend the ceremony on Saturday in Stockholm, but during a performance of Dylan’s song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” she stumbled over the words to the second verse.

Instead of ignoring her mistake, she addressed the audience directly. “I apologize, sorry, I’m so nervous,” said Smith, eliciting loud applause. Per her request, the orchestra started the song from the beginning, and the show went on.

The incident offered a rare moment of humanity in the otherwise well-choreographed ceremony, which was attended by the Swedish royal family.

The organizers of the ceremony — reportedly miffed that Dylan skipped the festivities — seemed overjoyed with Smith’s performance, noting that she received a standing ovation in a post on Facebook.

Watch the performance here:

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