Sunday, 7 April 2019


My Saturday evening was made this week by hearing the great Mavis Staples interviewed by a suitably respectful Clive Anderson on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends. Among the stories Mavis told was one about the time Bob Dylan proposed marriage to her, back in 1965. She talked about how cute Bob was, with his curly hair and blue eyes, and how she rejected the proposal.

I mentioned this on facebook (getting informed by the usual know-it-alls that the story of Bob's proposal was by now common knowledge, mea maxima culpa for missing that one) and I wrote that Mavis told Bob she was too young (she was 25 or 6), and didn’t know how to cook. You won’t have to cook, Bob said. Then I noted how that sounded like the lyrics to a Dylan song.

My friend Michael Goldfarb said ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ and I said ‘you got that right’, and proceeded to write a couple of verses for a revised version. So here, if Bob (or Mavis) wants it, is a newer version of the song:

Tangled Up In Blue (With Mavis

Mavis told Bob she was too young, that she didn’t know how to cook

You won’t have to cook at all said Bob, I just wanna sit and look

Up at you

Tangled Up In Blue

Mavis said Bobby you’re awfully sweet, and she looked into his blue eyes,

Bobby said girl please marry me, and I’ll win the Nobel Prize

Just for you

Tangled up in blue

Bobby oh Bobby you gotta relax, ever try taking it slow?

You say that you wanna just sit and look, but you know and I sure know

What you want to do

Tangled up in blue

Then they heard Pops play a guitar riff, comin’ out of studio two

Mavis walked out and she started to sing, Bob found his missing shoe,

As you do

Tangled up in blue

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