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Like a Rolling Stone: Original Bob Dylan lyrics sell for $2 million

Michael O'Neill

Sets record for rock lyrics

Bob Dylan’s working manuscript of his famous 1965 folk anthem “Like a Rolling Stone” sold for $2 million at a New York auction. The winner’s identity of this rare piece of history is still yet to be released.

The manuscript contains Bob Dylan’s first try at writing the quintessential folk-rock song of the 60’s, written on stationery from a Washington hotel. The pages are littered with strikeouts, underlines and unused verses such as “dry vermouth, you’ll tell the truth.”

The manuscript does contain the popular refrain in perfect form, “How does it feel/To be on your own/No direction home/Like a complete unknown/Like a rolling stone.” There’s even a marked passage where Dylan was attempting to fit in the rhyme “Al Capone” somewhere within the chorus, but decided against it, luckily.

The $2 million artifact is the largest haul-in by a music auction house. The previous record was held by the Beatles for their song “A Day in the Life,” which brought in $1.2 million.

Bob Dylan’s classic apocalyptic song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” was also sold at the auction for $485,000.

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