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TALKING FOLKLORE CENTER

(Bob Dylan)


Izzy Young at the Folklore Center.

© 1969 Folklore Center & Consolidated Publishers, Inc.


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No performance by Bob Dylan circulating;
influenced by Woody Guthrie's "TALKING SUBWAY"
(as sung by John Greenway on "Talking Blues" (1958).
Part of the lyrics were performed in an alternate version of "Talking New York", Gerde's Folk City, prob. Apr 1962.


March 19 [1962]:
Dylan writes a poem for Izzy Young.... He signs a handwritten draft of the poem, "Bob Dylan of Gallup, Phillipsburg, Navasota Springs, Sioux Falls, and Duluth."

The song is published as a songsheet by the Folklore Center at the time....

Clinton Heylin, A Life In Stolen Moments, New York, NY, 1996, p. 28


IZZY YOUNG:
So he has just taken a sheet of paper and a pencil. He is wearing his new Robin Hood vest some one made for him (out of leather) and presented to him this afternoon. I hope I can get the original sheet so I can see how he changes the words and patterns.
You get a bumper and I'll get a fender
We'll go down to the Folklore Center
You get a daft and I'll get dizzy
We'll go down to see old Izzy
What did the fly say to the flea
Folklore Center is the place for me.
I'll make a pie and you'll make a salad
We'll go down to see Jack Ballard
[Worked at Folklore Center: Ed.]
What did the belt say to the suspender
You got to support the Folklore Center
and I can make plenty more verses to that (to tune of you get a line and I'll get a pole.)

The Izzy Young Notebooks, reprinted in The Telegraph 56 (final issue, Winter 1997), pp. 69-70.


LYRICS AS REPRINTED IN "THE FESTIVAL SONGBOOK", NEW YORK, 1973, pp. 150-151.


I came down to New York town,
Got out and started walking around,
I's up around 62nd Street,
All of a sudden comes a cop on his beat;
Said my hair was too long,
Said my boots were too dirty,
Said my hat was un-American,
Said he'd throw me in jail.

So I got on a subway and took a seat
Got out on 42nd Street.
I met this fellow named Delores there,
He started rubbin' his hands through my hair --
I figured somethin' was wrong,
So I ran through ten hot-dog stands, four movie houses,
And a couple a dancing studios to get back on the subway train.

The wind it blew me north and south,
It blew me in a coffee house.
I met this fellow with sun glasses on,
He told me he sung folksongs --
I believed him 'cause he was wearing sun glasses.

He sung "Scarlet Ribbons" 'bout ten times or more,
He sung "Michael Row The Boat Ashore. "
He sung "Where Do All The Flowers Go? "
There was no folksong he didn't know --
The ones he didn't know he didn't like anyway.

On MacDougal Street I saw a cubby hole,
I went in to get out of the cold,
Found out after I'd entered
The place was called the Folklore Center --
Owned by Izzy Young --
He's always in back --
Or the center.

They got real records and real books,
Anybody can walk in and look.
You don't have to own a Cadillac car,
Or a nine hundred and fifty-two dollar guitar --
Do like most people do --
Walk in --
Walk around --
Walk out.

But that's not the way you see,
That ain't the way it oughta be,
There's just one way a lookin' at it,
You shouldn't take this place for granted --
That'll always be here.

So go down and buy a record or book,
Don't just walk around and look,
You can do that when you go uptown,
When you come down here you're on common ground --
Common people ground --
Common guitar people ground --
WE NEED EVERY INCH OF IT!


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