Untold Dylan Showcase: A new Dylan song – “Don’t let anyone write your story”

by Tony Attwood

We asked for contributions relating to completing the song “Don’t let anyone write your story.”   The original request is at  Another set of Bob Dylan lyrics without music for us to complete

The lyrics were credited to Gerry Goffin, Carole King and Bob Dylan.

Our first reply was from Claudio Diarni – and we put up his piece.  But unfortunately, for some reason the song doesn’t play here, maybe because it is in the wrong format.  So Claudio is you are still reading, please can you send over a copy as an mp3 or mp4 file?

Anyway, as Claudio was for a while the only person brave enough to have a go at the song I thought I had better find out why no one else wanted to take this on.  So I spent a while trying to write my own music to the song – and I can tell you what the problem is

a) the lines don’t easily scan

b) the last verse abandons the rhyming scheme completely.

c) the concept of “the job” is a bit, well, odd.

So double bravo to Claudio for having a go and I am sorry I can’t bring that version to you.  But first here are the lyrics and then my version.

Don’t let anyone write your story
Write a story of your own
The greatest thing we have to live for
Is seeking the unknown

Don’t let anyone write your story
Or tell you how to love
Save it for the one who really loves you
Or as written in the stars above

I am just the humble one
Coming home from work when the day is done
But it’s love and lovin’ that makes the world go ’round
Here with both feet on the ground

Don’t let anyone write your story
Nowadays it’s not that hard
Don’t let anyone write your story
I’m still not too old to do the job

Now have a look at that last verse and imagine – what does one do with it?  The rhyme scheme vanishes, and what is this about doing the job?

Anyway, I have done this in a bit of a rush, but that’s my solution to the problem of the final verse.  And I think Claudio and I can be rather proud about tackling this when no one else has.  Plus, we can now both claim to be co-writers with three of the most famous songwriters in history.

My apologies for the hugeness of the image below – it is not, I assure you, an attempt at aggrandisement of myself, but I couldn’t see how to reduce the size to something more acceptable.  Nor how to turn it into an audio-only.  (If you know, please tell me).

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Untold Dylan is written by people who want to write for Untold Dylan.  It is simply a forum for those interested in the work of the most famous, influential and recognised popular musician and poet of our era, to read about, listen to and express their thoughts on, his lyrics and music.

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But what is complete is our index to all the 604 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found, on the A to Z page.  I’m proud of that; no one else has found that many songs with that much information.  Elsewhere the songs are indexed by theme and by the date of composition. See for example Bob Dylan year by year.


  1. First of all I have to talk about the lyrics; the concept is very good the lyrics though simple do not flow well you are right Tony! I could not have tackled this but I might check it out who knows.
    You guys have presented these lyrics in very different styles and I appreciate both as unique and also valiant considering what you had to work with! I am not trying to play favorites but I have to say that Tony your’s is more melodic and the piano sealed the deal for me as all those runs not only are beautiful but they add to the song considerably!
    So thank you to both of you for sharing this and keep your music alive always

    <3 nissi

  2. Tony,

    I came back to hear this again and I am glad I did because I actually really love what you did with those lyrics.

    I was thinking that I was a little irked by those lyrics and the fact that such musical wonders could not have done a better job with them! Lol!

    So I was not in the right frame to actually listen well because I was feeling irked! Lol

    Listening now however I really thought you did a really great job and I wanted to tell you that!

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