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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It ain't him, babe


Let’s all hope Bob Dylan is more honest than Bob Zimmerman was. Yes, I realize they are, in fact, the same person, but Reuters uncovered a dirty little secret of Zimmerman’s yesterday that Dylan may be just a little ashamed of. Christie’s auction house is auctioning off a poem titled “Little Buddy” next month hand-written by 16-year-old Dylan, who at the time was still going by his birth name, Bob Zimmerman. It is among Dylan’s earliest known handwritten lyrics. However, there is a bit of a catch. The poem is not actually Dylan’s brainchild. Fans of the late Canadian country singer Hank Snow alerted both Reuters and Christie’s yesterday that the poem is, in fact, a revised version of one of Snow’s songs. Many of the lines in Zimmerman’s poem match the words to the Snow song exactly, which Snow recorded 10 years before Zimmerman submitted his version of the poem to the Herzl Camp newspaper. The editor of the paper kept it for more than 50 years. While Christie’s still plans to auction the manuscript (and still plans to get a hefty $10,00 to $15,000 for it), it is still a bit of a buzz kill to know that little Zimmerman was not quite the original thinker that we all know Dylan to be. However, I suppose after a solid 50 years of some of the arguably best-written lyrics of all time, Dylan has more than made up for Zimmerman’s callow mistake, a sentiment obviously shared by those still willing to shell out the big bucks for the poem, plagiarized or not.

-Laurie Moot

Currently listening to: "It Ain't Me, Babe," by Bob Dylan

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