Original lyric sheet of unreleased Bob Dylan anti-war song expected to fetch £35,000 at auction
Paul Bignell is an Assistant News Editor at The Independent. He has previously been the acting News Editor of the i Paper, a home news reporter for The Independent for one year and a reporter for the Independent on Sunday for six years.
Thursday 02 May 2013
A never-before-released Bob Dylan song lyrics are to go to auction in London next month, after being discovered in a drawer in Sweden.
The lyrics for "Go Away You Bomb" were written by Dylan in 1963 for Israel ‘Izzy’ Young who ran the Greenwich Village Folklore Centre, in New York.
Written at the height of the singer’s protest period, when he was working on his seminal The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album, the lyrics are expected to fetch between £25,000-£35,000 when they are auctioned off at Christie’s on 26 June.
"I asked everyone I knew to write a song about the nuclear bomb," Young told Rolling Stone magazine today. "Bob Dylan came in literally the next day and handed these to me."
Young, now 85, moved to Stockholm in the early 1970s and the lyrics lay in a drawer, forgotten for almost 50 years until he re-discovered them several years ago.
But due to dire financial circumstances, Young was reluctantly forced to sell them: "My daughter, who is 39, came to me and said 'Papa, I'm sick of you surviving by miracles,'" he said. '"You have to sell that Bob Dylan song.' She convinced me I had to, and she moved it to a bank vault for me."
Written on a typewriter and corrected by hand, the song lyrics see Dylan in a typically acerbic and firebrand mood: "I hate you cause you make my life seem like nothin’ at all/I hate you cause yer name’s lost it’s (sic) meanin an’ you can fool anybody now".
The singer's history with Young stretches back to his earliest days in New York. Young was the owner and operator of the Folklore Centre in Manhattan’s arty Greenwich Village area. It became a meeting place for local musicians and was also home to stacks of rare books and records.
Dylan wrote about Young in his 1962 song "Talking Folklore Centre" where he stresses the importance of the centre as a place where musicians and songwriters could get together to share their inspirations and experiences. After Dylan asked Young to listen to some of his music, he was so convinced of his talents that he organised the singers first concert at the Carnegie Centre, New York in 1961.
"At first Dylan seemed like anybody else that came into the store," said Young. "But I noticed after a while there was something different about him. He would take every goddamn record I had in the store and listen to them. He was the only one that read all those scholarly communist books. Anything I had in the store, he would read."
Young arranged for Dylan to headline a show at Carnegie Chapter Hall, a small theatre in the famed Carnegie Hall complex, on 4 November 1961. Only 53 fans attended which led to Young losing money. "I tried to give him 20 bucks anyway," he said. "He refused to take it since I lost money. A lawyer friend saw us arguing about he suggested I just give him 10 dollars. We made that agreement and both of us felt good."
Young is also auctioning a rare program for the Carnegie Chapter Hall concert which is estimated to sell for between £1,000 and £1,500.
Despite his financial difficulties, he says the income will allow him to continue to operate the Folklore Centre in Stockholm. "It's going to be the first time in my life I'll have real money," he said.
Bob Dylan, I Want That Bomb
Fast right now fast quick you get me sick
My good gal don' like you none an' the kids on my corner are scared a' you
An' my friends 're gettin headaches that split an' spit an'
This kind a feelin' is rubbin' off on me an' I don' like it none too good
I hate the letters in yer word - B that means yer so bad that even
A dead hog in the sun would get up an' run O that stands for orrible
Yer so orrible that the word drops it's first letter and runs M
That stands for morgue an' all them folks in it 're feelin' lucky an' I don'
Mind folks feelin' lucky but I hate that feelin' of envy an' sometimes when
I get to thinkin' bout how lucky they are I get envicious (sic)
of 'm an' that's a bad lonesome feelin' too B- that means bad but that's
The second time so's twice as bad
I hate you cause you make my life seem like nothin' at all
I hate you cause yer name's lost it's (sic) meaning an' you can fool anybody now
I hate you cause yer man made and man owned an' man handled
An' you might be missmade an' miss-owned an' miss handled an' even miss used
Am' I hate you cause you could drop on me by accident an' kill me
An' I never liked yuh anyway - I'm against yuh to begin with
An' I hate you twice as much as Jimm Crow hates me
I want that bomb - I want it hangin' out a' my pocket an' danglin'
On my key chain- I want it strapped to my belt buckle-
I want it stickin' out a' my boot
I want it falling' out a' my sock
I wanna wear it on my wedding finger an' I wanna tie it with bandanas
To my head
I want that bomb -
I want it settin in my mouth like a cigar
I want it stickin from my ears like a carrot
I wanna look in the mirror an' see it in my eyes
I want one in both hands
I want two in both arms
I want that bomb to be hangin' an' hurtin' an' a'shinin' an burnin'
I want it showin' all over my living self
I want it breathin' from every porthole
I want it blowin' from every pore
I want it weightin' me down so I can't even walk right
I wanna get up in the mornin' and scare the day right out a' it's dawn
Then I walk into the White house an' I say 'Dig Yourselve's'(sic)
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