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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dylan quote from Sydney '66

Getting round to putting in order last year's correspondence about the Encyclopedia (then in preparation), I re-read this morning an e-mail from Roy Kelly from August 2005, in which he wrote of re-listening to different performances of 'Tell Me Momma' and hearing quite clearly on the bootleg of the Sydney version - unlike the dohzy transcriber for the official book of lyrics - that Dylan sings this lovely line:

Cold black glass don’t make no mirrors, cold black water don’t make no tears.

And of course aside from the beauty of the line itself, it's a lovely example of how he has always pronounced the word "mirror" as "mere" (such that, in this case, "mirrors" is a perfect rhyme for "tears").


Blogger crazylazy said...


I was wondering if you could give me information on how to sell a painting of Bob dylan. The painting is a original #10 out of 100, by John Rosmini. This paitings is Bob Dylan At Woodstock By John Rosmini. Signed, dated and numbered by artist. Painting was given as a personal gift from Mr.Rosmini.

If you can help in this matter or direct me in another way please do. I have considered E-bay but didnt know if that would be the best way.

thank you in advance

PS sorry for putting this on your page but couldnt find your email

4:26 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always thought that those were the lines he sings, at all the shows; it's just clearer at the Sydney show.

12:11 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Crazylazy: Sorry but I can't help. I'd have thought eBay was the ideal way.

Glenn: you're probably right. As you say, it's just clearer at Sydney - though it does sound as if he varies some lines a little bit from night to night elsewhere in the song.

2:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the way he says 'mere' its so adorable!

8:21 pm  
Blogger Dylan Forums said...

Hey, Michael. I was in Hibbing a month ago and wandered into a bookstore there. I found your encyclopedia and bought it. It is opening and has opened up whole new worlds of knowledge. Thanks!


1:56 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Hey Kevin
Thank you for taking the trouble to tell me - it's always a good feeling, as a writer, to find a reader who has really got something from a book. Ah, Hibbing... I've been there twice; kind & helpful people each time. Hope to be there again in late March next year.

Best wishes~

2:31 pm  
Blogger here in my heart said...

Yes... the "mirror" pronunciation has tricked me a few times.

For years I thought he was saying Vermeer instead of "the mirror" in Visions of Johanna.

"Louise, she's all right, she's just near
She's delicate and seems like the mirror"

And now, even though i know better I still sing along and say Vermeer.

I just like it that way... though far be it for me to edit Bob in any manner.

I haven't purchased your book yet but I have asked the local library to aquire it... low funds and all of that.
Glad to have discovered your blog.

5:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought that it was "veneer". Makes more sense to me, on a whole load of levels, than either of the alternatives.

11:30 pm  

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