(Robert A. Zimmerman?)

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A xerox of what is possibly the earliest known handwritten Bob Dylan manuscript (circa 1952-'54) first appeared in "Isis", No. 44, Aug-Sep 1992. Authenticity has, however, not been determined.
Transcribed from xerox by Manfred Helfert.

The Drunkard's

In an old dusty attic
In a little house, I happened to wander one day
And there in the rafters, mid shavings and chips
A drunkard's poor little boy lay

Oh why are you lying up there in the cold
You look like you've never been fed
My father's a drunkard, and he beat me today
My darling old mother is dead

I'm hiding from father and please sir, don't tell
He beat me 'cause I would not steal
He said he would kill me the next time I failed
And I'm so afraid sir, he will.

I'm leaving you here son I sadly replied
But I will be back right away
But when I returned to the attic I found

The Drunkard's
Son (continued)

The chips and the shaving were there as before
The little boy lie on his bed
Whith tears on his face and his hands at his side
The poor little fellow was dead

A picture of mother lay close to his heart
A faint little note by his head
As I oppened [sic] the pages, my eyes filled with tears
For these were the words that it said

I'm hiding with Jesus who I'll always be by
And my mother who I love, oh so well
And thank you dear mister for your kindness and **** [ILLEGIBLE]
And now it's alright if you tell


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