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Eric Bogle - Do You Sing Any Dylan?

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Do You Sing Any Dylan?

 
At the age of nineteen I was young, I was keen,
and I had just one burning ambition:
to be a folk-singer, a dope-smokin’ swinger,
singin’ songs that were steeped in tradition.
So I bought a guitar and I practised real hard;
I wasn’t much good but I was willin’.
Till, to my chagrin, my girlfriend came in
and she said «Can you sing any Dylan?».
 
I said «No! No! A thousand times no,
I’d rather see my life blood spillin’.
I’ll sing anything, even ‟God Save the King”,
but I just won’t sing any Bob Dylan.».
 
And with my guitar I travelled real far,
trying to gain recognition.
I sang ‟The Wild Rover” from Dundee to Dover,2
in pubs, clubs and in Seamens’ Missions.3
I travelled the road for seven long years,
the pace, it really was killin’.
But everywhere I went, from Gwydir to Gwent,4
they would say «Can you sing any Dylan?».
 
I’d say «No! No! A thousand times no,
I’d rather see my life blood spillin’.
I’ll sing anything, even ‟God Save the King”,
but I just won’t sing any Bob Dylan.».
 
I struggled on, but the magic was gone,
I only had a deep sense of failure;
I though, then I’d blow to where all failures go,
so I boarded a ship for Australia.
When I landed in Sydney, the sun, it shone down
on a view that was lovely and thrillin’.
'Til, spotting my case, with a smile on his face,
Customs said «Can you sing any Dylan, mate?».
 
I said «No! No! A thousand times no,
I’d rather see my life blood spillin’.
I’ll sing anything, even ‟God Save the King”,
but I just won’t sing any Bob Dylan.».
 
And ever since then, again and again,
I’ve been asked the same bloody question.
And I usually reply in me own quiet way
with a totally indecent suggestion!
But the last straw came one night at a local motel
where I had a young girl who was willin’.
As she shook off her dress, she said «I’ll say yes,
if only you’ll sing some Bob Dylan!».
 
I said «No! No! A thousand times no,
I’d rather see my life blood spillin’.
I’ll sing anything, even ‟God Save the King”,
but I just won’t sing any Bob Dylan.».
 
But I tell you, my friends, that was the end
of all my traditional aspirations.
If being a folkie was goin’ to cut off my nookie,
there was one way to end my frustrations.
The next night I sang at my local folk club,
where the audience as usual was millin’.
'Til I took off my coat and I ruptured my throat
and I sang – just like Bob Dylan!
 
Well, the audience went wild, men, women and child,
and they clapped ’til their raw hands were bleedin’.
And said, so to speak, that my style was unique,
and just what the Australian Folk scene was needin’.
So all you young folkies who bash out a chord,
if you want to attain the top billin’,
just murder good prose, and sing through your nose,
and then you’ll sound just like Bob Dylan!
 
  • 1. Eric Bogle is Scottish. He travelled across Europe for 7 years, trying to get recognition as a folk singer, to no avail. He then emigrated to Australia, where he settled and became famous.
  • 2. Dundee is a city in Scotland.
    Dover is a harbor in England, on the Channel.
  • 3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mission_to_Seafarers
  • 4. Gwent is a Welsh county. Gwydir is both a place in Wales and a county in Australia.
Thanks!
Submitted by GuestGuest on Thu, 15/10/2015 - 18:08

 

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Comments
Walter OwenWalter Owen    Fri, 15/12/2017 - 13:02

Dover is in England, not France. Cheers, mate!

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