By Tony Attwood
My absolute thanks to Aaron Galbraith for finding this track. It is a leftover from The New Basement Tapes collection with lyrics by Dylan of course, and this time music by Elvis Costello. Elvis is believed to have performed it live 8 times, we’ve got two recordings, below.
So, here’s a couple of the live versions.. This first one is not a very good recording but is included because Elvis Costello states “words by Bob Dylan” at the beginning
And here is a secnd recording from Leicester in 2015… The quality is better on this one but the lyrics are less clear.
Aaron has even gone so far as to provide a set of lyrics…. and I am doubly thankful for this because there’s no way I could make a stab at it.
Matthew Met Mary
Matthew met Mary In a garden on a clear cool market day Said Mary to Matthew “I’d like to give my child away” Said Matthew, “I got a pheasant farm and I’ll take good care of him There’s a diamond spring and a big oak tree And he can climb on every limb A thousand doors couldn’t hold me back from you” Said Mary to Matthew “You know that this may never be I’m not going to give my child for nothing but an old oak tree” Just then a man wearing woman’s clothes began to hop around “So unto you and if I do and then maybe woe unto me A thousand doors couldn’t hold me back from you” There’s a diamond spring and a big oak tree And he can climb on every limb A thousand doors couldn’t hold me back from you A thousand doors couldn’t hold me back from you A thousand doors wouldn’t hold me back from you
Aaron added the comment in supplying us with the music and lyrics, “I’m not to sure where the line breaks come or even how to split up the verses but this was my best attempt!” and the comment, which I agree with, “A thousand doors wouldn’t hold me back from you is an amazing line don’t you think?”
I think Aaron has done a great job – certainly far better than anything I could have done.
For myself, I think these are some of the strangest Dylan lines I have ever seen – I wonder if they were just a sketch of ideas and lines from Dylan, which, had he wanted to go further, would have been edited and played with.
Certainly when I first looked at “Just then a man wearing woman’s clothes began to hop around” I really couldn’t believe that could be the right representation of the lyrics, but listening again and again I can’t come up with a better suggestion. Then I thought, “is this some sort of weird verse from the Bible that I’ve never come across before” – but no of course it can’t be.
So just a strange line in what is otherwise a song that is starting to make sense, but which Dylan thought was not going anywhere so left in his notebook.
But whatever is going on in that strange line, it is another Dylan song, so thanks very much to Aaron. And even better news, there’s another lost track comiing up shortly.