Monday, August 22, 2005

And the swan on the river went gliding by.

Four songs recorded by Dylan for his performance as a hobo guitarist in the BBC drama The Madhouse on Castle Street in 1963 have been rediscovered, according to this article in The Independent.

Among the songs, according to the article, is a version of "Blowin' in the Wind," months before it appeared on vinyl, and three songs that Dylan never recorded again.

The lyrics to one of those songs, "The Ballad of the Gliding Swan," are thought to have been written by the play's author, Evan Jones, but Dylan made his own additions. The other songs are the traditional "The Cuckoo" and "Hang Me Oh Hang Me."

The BBC and will broadcast the songs next month in a documentary for BBC4, Dylan in the Madhouse, as part of a season of programmes about Dylan. Producers are still trying to find any footage of the broadcast, according to the article.

THE BALLAD OF THE GLIDING SWAN

Tenderly William kissed his wife.

Then he opened her head with a butcher's knife.

And the swan on the river went gliding by.

Lady Margaret's pillow was wet with tears.

Nobody's been on it in twenty years.

And the swan on the river goes gliding by.

The swan on the river goes gliding by.

Little Billy Brown will shake with fright.

He's got a new daddy and mommy every night.

And the swan on the river goes laughing by.

The swan on the river goes laughing by.

"I've got a sad surprise" the doctor said.

"A twenty-pound baby without any head."

The swan on the river went lookin' ...


1 comment:

Maudie said...

I asked this via a recent post, but no-one answered - I'll ask you:

If you could only have one Dylan compilation, what would it be?