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Bob Dylan’s Unpublished Lyrics on the Auction Block

Bob Dylan
Evening Standard, Getty Images

A number of unpublished draft lyrics by Bob Dylan will be up for sale June 23 at Christie’s auction house in New York. The writings are culled from the mid-1960s.

Among the treasures are early versions of songs from Dylan’s albums ‘Bringing It All Back Home,’ ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ and ‘Blonde on Blonde.’ The drafts include lyrics that have been marked up heavily, including some in crayon. A couple of the works are typed, while others are handwritten.

One of the lots contains a version of the tune ‘Maggie’s Farm,’ and is expected to fetch between $70,000 and $90,000. Other lots feature variants of ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues,’ ‘Visions of Johanna’ and ‘Queen Jane Approximately.’ In addition, there are lyrics to songs that Dylan wrote for Joan Baez and Nico.

According to Christie’s, the lyric drafts were once the possession of Dylan’s one-time manager Albert Grossman.

‘The mid-60s, especially 1964-1966, were a true watershed for Dylan,” says Christie’s staffer Chris Coover. “In that period his lyrics became deeper and more personal, while his songs moved away from the acoustic, folk-inflected style, and he forged a unique personal style as poet and songwriter.”

At a December auction by Sotheby’s, a handwritten sheet of the lyrics to Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ sold for $422,000.

Watch Bob Dylan Perform ‘Maggie’s Farm’

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