“Liverpool Gal”: Our own recording of this Dylan song by Matthew Gordon

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.

We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with over 2000 active members.  (Try imagining a place where it is always safe and warm).  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

If you are interested in Dylan’s work from a particular year or era, your best place to start is Bob Dylan year by year.

On the other hand if you would like to write for this website, please do drop me a line with details of your idea, or if you prefer, a whole article.  Email Tony@schools.co.uk

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, links back to our reviews



  1. Well done Mr. Gordon!

    Trust you won’t mind my using your audio of ‘Liverpool Gal’ to send my own “lip syncin’ / air pickin” version thereof to Tony! Maybe I’ll win a prize.

    But fear not….the last comment is just my attempt at humour.

  2. Hats off to Matthew. I think he did a great job with this version. It’s funny to think that this might be only the third time the song has been played! Once by Bob in 1962, then once on Radio in the early 90s and now here! Wonderful stuff!

  3. Hi, it’s almost 6 months later and I shared my version with some friends. One of them found it strongly reminiscent of the song “Lily Of The West”, and pointed me to this version by Mark Knopfler and the Chieftains:
    Bob has also covered this song, but with a completely different chord progression and minor key melody, more like Ghost Riders in the Sky:
    I had heard Bob’s version but had never heard Knopfler’s version, nor any other like that, until now. My melody for “Liverpool Gal” is different enough from Knopfler’s “Lily Of The West” that I feel comfortable that my melody was my own. Of course, the chord progression is identical (except for the turnaround at the end of each verse), because that was what Untold Dylan gave me that I started with.
    So, since Bob is obviously familiar with the song, based on his later “cover”, I have no doubt that Bob’s original “Liverpool Gal” probably hewed closely to the same “Lily Of The West” melody covered by Knopfler. Anyway thanks again, I love this kind of revelation!

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