NEW YORK (Reuters) - A selection of previously unpublished draft lyrics by legendary songwriter Bob Dylan is hitting the auction block this month, Christie’s said on Wednesday.
The heavily annotated, sometimes in crayon, lyrics date from the mid-1960s, during one of Dylan’s most productive periods. They will be sold at Christie’s auction of fine printed books and manuscripts in New York on June 23.
“The mid-60s, especially 1964-1966, were a true watershed for Dylan,” said Chris Coover, Christie’s senior specialist for books.
“In that period his lyrics became deeper and more personal, while his songs moved away from the acoustic, folk-inflected style, and he forged a unique personal style as poet and songwriter.”
The items for sale include early, formative versions of five songs from 1965’s “Bringing It All Back Home” album, including “I Ain’t Gonna Work on Maggie’s Farm No More,” a draft for “Maggie’s Farm,” estimated to sell for $70,000 to $90,000.
Some of the revised and corrected lyrics are handwritten and others are typed.
Christie’s said the newly discovered drafts once belonged to Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman. They feature some of Dylan’s best-known songs, including “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” “Queen Jane Approximately” and “Visions of Johanna.”
Several of the sheets include groups of rhyming words which he used as springboards for additional lines of verse.
Song lyrics have fetched some impressive prices recently. Dylan’s smudged, hand-written and dog-eared lyrics to the 1960s anthem “The Times They Are A-Changin” fetched $422,000 at Sotheby’s in December, while John Lennon’s lyrics to “A Day In The Life” soared to $1.2 million at the auction house a year ago.