The Rhymes they are A-Changin’

June 13, 2011

Blog Guy, I read in a Reuters story that some previously unpublished lyrics by legendary songwriter Bob Dylan are going up for auction this month.

Yes, it’s an incredible window into the creative process. The lyrics are heavily annotated, sometimes in crayon, so you can actually see how they evolved.

People may be very surprised at the earliest versions of some of the legendary legend’s classics.

Can you give us examples?

Sure. There are unedited first drafts of “Blowin’ in the Window,” “Don’t Give it a Second Thought, it’s Okay,” and “Like a Pebble that Rolls If You Kick It.”

Those were his originals titles? Boy, it really makes you think, huh? Give us more.

Sure. The auction is also offering embryonic versions of “Everybody Must get Drunk,” and “I Ain’t Gonna work in Maggie’s Pharmacy no More.”

I can see you’re having a good time with this, Blog Guy. How about one more for the really hard-core Dylan fans?

Okay. “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, it Takes a Train to pull a Snack Car.”

That’s just stupid. So which item will you be bidding on at the auction?

I’m going for the original manuscript of “Mr. Tangerine Man.”

Join the Oddly Enough blog network

Follow this blog on Twitter at rbasler

Top: Rock legend Bob Dylan performs in Ho Chi Minh City on April 10, 2011 REUTERS/Stringer

Right: U.S. music legend Bob Dylan sits on stage before receiving his honorary Doctor of Music degree during a ceremony at St Andrews University, Scotland, June 23, 2004. REUTERS/David Cheskin/POOL

More stuff from Oddly Enough

15 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

He would have fit right in with the folks in the Ho Chi Minh City…
Umm.. what is he doing in the next pic?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

It could be worse. It’s a sad day for Thappa, now the world’s second shortest man, as the title has been claimed by a new contestant, Junrey Balawing.
Hey, maybe Thappa could start his own Reuters blog. It could be very, uh, um, brief.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

OK, so some checking has turned these in the list for sale as well:
Hard grains a-growin tall
Knockin’ On Kevin Bacon’s door
Forever Jung
It’s a mall now, baby blue
Just like a wombat
Pay, lady, pay, at the checkout
Mr. Glockenspiel Man
Sweetheart, like, you get me a cup of coffee or somethin’

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

…and my personal favorite:
It’s Alright Ma, (I’m only blogging)

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

Of course, and his anti-war classic, “With Dog on Our Side”

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Since I like Techno so..

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

@Spin – frankly it’s impopssible to tell. Bob’s handwriting is even harder to work out than his singing.
From a distance it looks like “Cam’s Sister in a Tangerine Van”.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

My favorite would be “All Alone in a Clocktower”. Maybe. Maybe he changed that one when he had to perform in Texas.

“The Mighty Huckleberry Finn” would be cool too.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

I understand that way back, in lean and hungry years, Dylan was moonlighting on a workout video: “Everybody must get toned.”

Posted by ladylala | Report as abusive

Hey, Mr. Tangerine Man,
Peel that fruit for me.
I’m so hungry
and I don’t know where my lunch went to.

Hey, Mr. Tangerine Man,
Even an orange will do,
In my tie dyed clothes and VW bus
I’m followin’ you…

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

@Onedoor: excellent! May I assist with then next verses?

Though I know my crayon’s melting…
Melting in my hand.
I’ll write some great lyrics
That no one can understand when I sing them.

Watching people from the stage,
I’ll build a museum some day.
Doughnuts for all who visit
And photos of goofy faces beaming.

Join the OE Blog Network…you don’t have to be a poet!

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

Maybe a slightly different venue, but I looked up the song, ‘Jesus Loves Me’ with a heavy metal beat in youtube, and I was charmed by finding a kindergarten class singing it, with little Allyson ‘throwing the horns’ at it’s completion! Wow!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-qs1EMda kg

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

I have always wondered what makes musicians legends..
by the looks of it, LOADS and LOADS of unadultered goofiness… :D

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

@Shra: You asked what he’s doing in the second pic…well, same thing he’s doing in the first, ergo, eating whatever’s in his hands…first pic, the microphone, second pic, the lyrics.

…How do you think “Blowing in the Window” ended up being “Blowing in the Wind”…

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive

LOL! Thanks Malt..
I can imagine a lot of coughs, umm, I mean laughs, around when that song is playing..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

[...] 8. The Rhymes they are A-Changin’ [...]