Commentary by Tony Attwood, recording by Matthew Gordon
Liverpool Gal was recorded by Dylan in July 1962 and a recording was made by Tony Glover – and according to Heylin was written the previous May. So that places it just before the third album. Apparently it was however not registered for copywrite purposes.
The song is based around the folk song “When first unto this country” which Dylan performed in 1989 and 1991 on tour. The message of the song is fairly standard – the outsider coming to the big city and not knowing anyone.
The Tony Glover recording has been kept in private hands for some time, and so we asked for anyone of our readers who was brave enough to take the song Liverpool Gal by Bob Dylan and record it for this site.
Which is quite a thing to ask, and I must admit I doubted if anyone would take up the challenge – and Matthew did so. I am so grateful to Matthew for doing this – I know we have a huge number of musicians reading this blog – but no one else seems to have wanted to take up the challenge.
Anyway we have our own recording supplied by a reader, and I am going to say, if you have a band or you are a solo artist and you want to provide your own recording of a Dylan song I’ll certainly put that up. If we get any more what I’ll do is set them up on a page of their own. Hopefully they will show everyone what can be done by fans.
So, Matthew, absolutely brilliant that you have taken up the challenge that no one else has done. Thank you so much. Congrats – on being the one and only Untold Dylan reader willing to take up the challenge.
As it happens, as a result of my previous comments we have now been given a copy of the earlier copy that has circulated, which I will publish in a later article. But I think Matthew should have the limelight for now. We supplied the lyrics and the chords, and the basis of the tune, and Matthew was the one person willing to take the task on.
Lyrics to the song
When first I came to London town A stranger I did come I'd walk the streets so silently I did not know no-one I was thinking thoughts and dreaming dreams The kind when you roll along But most of all I was thinking about the land I'd left back home I'd stand by the river Themes with the wind blowing through my hair. And who should come and stand by me but a London gal so fair. Her eyes were blue, her hair was brown Her face was gentle and kind For a second, well, I clear forgot The land I left behind As we began walking and talkin' All through the English air I did not know where we'd end up 'til we came to the top of a stair As we lay round on a worn-out rug the room it was so cold And we talked for hours by the inside fire 'bout the outside world so old. All through our sweet conversation She thought my ways were so strange But I know there was one thing about me That she would try to change And the night passed on with the drizzeling rain There's one thing I found out [A pair of sweet curls] I know too well, Her love I know not much about And I awoke the next morning And the rain had turned to snow I looked out of her window And I knew that I must go I did not know how to tell her I didn't know if I could But she smiled a smile I'd never seen To say she understood. And thinking of her as I stood in the snow How strange she appeared to be, On the reason I was leaving, she seemed no better than me. I gazed all up at her window where the snowy snow-flakes blowed I put my hands in my pockets And I walked 'long down the road. So it's now I'm leaving London, boys Well, the town I'll soon forget, Likewise its winds and weather Likewise some people I met But there's one thing that's for certain Sure as the sunshine down I'll never forget that Liverpool Gal Who lived in London Town.
And here is more from Matthew. Matthew Gordon | CD Baby Music Store
What else is on the site
You’ll find some notes about our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page. You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.
The index to all the 590 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found on the A to Z page.
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