Early Drafts of ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ Reveal Dylan’s Obsession with Whether Or Not ‘The Grinch’ Is Real
Recently uncovered drafts of Bob Dylan’s pioneering “Mr. Tambourine Man” provide valuable insight into the artist’s writing process and also his obsession with whether or not “the Grinch” is real.
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
If the Grinch is real I’m going to crap my pants in fear
It’s clear from the early drafts of the iconic song that the possibility of the Grinch being real horrified Dylan, and he stressed that the unsettling prospect of a living Grinch was not something to joke about.
Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship
If the Grinch is real don’t joke
It makes me want to croak
If he lives up there on that cliff
My pants will fill with shit
Despite his apparent terror at the thought of the Grinch being “real,” Dylan also expressed a timid curiosity about whether there might be a “girl Grinch.”
Is there a girl Grinch?
No, don’t tell me, I’m too afraid
If you think so maybe just wave
Now it’s stuck in my head
Jingle jangle morning something something
All mention of the Grinch was ultimately cut from the final version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” for reasons that are unclear. There is no record of Dylan ever mentioning the Grinch again, although some scholars suggest the artist wears bolo ties because he believes the Grinch fears them.