Six chansons de 1971
Ces six chansons sont censées avoir été écrites par Bob Dylan en 1971.
Stephen Pickering les aurait entendues jouées par Bob Dylan dans sa maison du 94 MacDougal Street, à New York, et les aurait transcrites.
Ces transcriptions circulent sous forme de photocopies depuis 1979 ou 1980.
Ces photocopies ont été publiées en 2023 sur le site The Bob Dylan Papers.
Si ce sont des textes apocryphes, ils sont bien imités. Même si certains vers sont du niveau d'un collégien, les textes se tiennent et les thèmes se rapprochent de ceux abordés dans les chansons authentifiées par Bob Dylan. Ce qui est plus troublant, c'est que certains passages font penser à des chansons écrites plus tard, certaines des dizaines d'années plus tard.
Peut-être saurons-nous un jour que ce sont des chansons que Bob Dylan n'a pas voulu publier car il ne les considérait comme des expérimentations et pas assez bonnes. Ce ne seraient pas les seules chansons de Dylan à dormir dans ses carnets. En attendant leur éventuelle découverte, nous vous laissons juges de leur authenticité.
Six 1971 songs
The six songs below were supposedly written by Bob Dylan in 1971.
Stephen Pickering said he heard them played by Bob Dylan in his house at 94 MacDougal Street, New York, and transcribed them.
Those transcripts circulate among fans in photocopy form since 1979 or 1980.
Copies have been published in 2023 on the web site The Bob Dylan Papers.
If they are apocryphal -or fake as we say today-, they are good imitations. Even though some lines are no better than ninth grade, the lyrics make sense and their themes approach those covered in songs copyrighted by Bob Dylan. Even more disturbing, some lines remind us of songs written afterwards, sometimes decades later.
Following comments from people who have been following Dylan for 50 or 60 years, I reaffirm here that nothing is certain about the author of those six songs, the only thing we know for sure about those six songs is that the late Stephen Pickering stated they were sung and written by Bob Dylan, and Pickering was not renown for his reliability.
Yet Bob Dylan and Stephen Pickering knew each other, and those songs lyrics share similarities with the Bob Dylan songs we have known before 1971, and even afterwards. The topics are familiar with other Dylan songs, but it is no evidence the lines are Dylan's, since anyone knowing English could write about the same topics. Their style is somewhat reminiscent of Dylan's or other songwriters of the time, though some of the lines are clumsy. But again it is not proof Dylan wrote them, as many people could write the way Dylan did, with some time and endeavors. What is more disturbing is in 'I Have Heard a Story Told (The Being Song)', one verse seems to be a draft from 'Murder Most Foul', which was published 50 years later. Also, the lyrics of 'It's Just a War' make us think of what Dylan said to Happy Traum, when asked what he thought of the Vietnam War, 'What do you know, maybe I'm backing this war?' And 'On the Main Line' alludes to hard drugs, and there are presumptions Dylan was on this kind of drugs from 1964 on. But I know these arguments might as well be mere coincidences.
One day we might learn Bob Dylan did not want to publish those six songs because he thought they were just experiments and not up to his standard. Those Dylan songs would not be the only ones hidden in his notebooks. Until they might be found again, it is up to you to judge their genuineness.