Did Bob Dylan really write “Maureen”?

By Aaron Galbraith

I stumbled across this potential unreleased Dylan track called “Maureen”…and here it’s performed by the Beatles! At the start George says, “here’s one Dylan wrote for Ringo”.

 

The story goes that is was written in 1968 when George visited Bob and they wrote “I’d have you anytime” and “Nowhere To Go” together.  This one is potentially a third offering from those writing sessions. Either Bob wrote it himself, or Bob and George co-wrote it together.

Or a third possibility is that George wrote it himself and was embarrassed to present the song, named after Ringo’s wife, as his own. Of course George did have an affair with Maureen in 1973 (professing his love in front of his own wife and Ringo!), an incident which effectively ended his marriage to Patti and Ringo’s marriage to Maureen.

Ringo did forgive both George and Maureen and remained close friends with them both for the rest of their lives, performing on many of George’s solo albums even after the event. He was also at Maureen’s bedside when she passed away and was with George shortly before he passed also.

The track was performed during the Let It Be album sessions in 1969 with George singing and playing guitar, Paul attempts to sing along at one point and John tries out some guitar. It’s difficult to make out a lot of the lyrics but I can hear

Maureen, oh Maureen
Eyes of green
Everybody’s finger picking
Beer sniffing (??)...

Maybe someone else can decipher some more.

Around the 0.54 seconds mark George says he was showing Bob “Thingymybob” and it turned into this song. Thingymybob was an instrumental that Paul McCartney wrote for a single by The Black Dyke Mill’s Band, released on Apple Records in 1968.

George did introduce a lot of Dylan songs to the others during the “Let It Be” sessions including such rarities like “Please Mrs Henry”, “Get Your Rocks Off” and others as they were warming up to play their own songs. Here’s a video rounding up all the pieces the Beatles attempted.

These are mostly just snippets but some go on a bit longer. It’s really interesting to hear the biggest band in the world warming up for their own sessions playing some Dylan pieces. Pretty cool I thought!

Here’s the timings of the tracks for the video:

January 2 0:00 – I Shall Be Released #1 2:02 – I’ve Got A Feeling / The Mighty Quinn

January 3 3:08 – Please Mrs. Henry 4:43 – Three Cool Cats (ending) / Blowin’ In The Wind 5:32 – All Along The Watchtower

January 6 6:19 – I Want You 10:16 – Maureen 12:40 – Frere Jacques (traditional song) / It Ain’t Me Babe

January 7 13:45 – My Back Pages (part of dialogue) 13:58 – Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again 14:51 – I Shall Be Released #2

January 8 16:20 – Get Your Rocks Off

January 9 17:01 – I Threw It All Away / Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind

January 22 21:20 – Dialogue / I Shall Be Released #3 24:22 – I Shall Be Released #4

January 26 28:19 – Like A Rolling Stone / Twist and Shout (eventually turns into Dig It after the fade out) Note: It isn’t Yoko on this song, it’s Linda McCartney’s daughter, Heather

January 28 31:58 – I’ve Got A Feeling / Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 34:10 – Positively 4th Street

12 years of Untold Dylan

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