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Wyatt, Lorre

High school student in 1962, who claimed to have written "Blowin' in The Wind" 
before selling it to Bob Dylan. This was not true.

Wyatt eventually told the full story in a 1974 issue of New Times magazine: In September of 1962, fall of my senior year, I auditioned for the Millburnaires, a perennial singing octet from Millburn High. Ecstatic over making it, I raced to my first rehearsal overflowing with song suggestions like "Dona, Dona" and "500 Miles." Several weeks later, I thumbed through the new issue of Sing Out! It was seeded with protest songs which rekindled my songwriting desires. The ideas of one song in particular had an unavoidable impact. They agitated my head, and I made valiant attempt to find my own words. I scribbled feverishly at my heavy blond desk, pressed by the upcoming Millburnaires rehearsal. But the printed words kept looking better and better, and I couldn't resist trying to piece the tune together. On October 28th, the eight of us were sitting around Don Larsen's beige-carpeted living room swapping songs. In my pocket were two sets of words -- the original and the song I had hoped would grow out of it. My mind seesawed nervously back and forth between them. Mine wasn't finished and that song was so good. Maybe I could sing it and not say anything and they'd think I wrote it and be impressed. If they said, "Let's sing that sometime," that'd be OK. I'd finish my song by then, and they probably wouldn't remember the original. Someone said, "Anybody got a song?" My hands formed a shaky D chord, and a distant voice began, "How many roads . . ." Unexpected silence as I finished. WOW! "Where'd you get that? Did you write that?" (Why not, I thought, nothing will ever come of it . . .) Yes. A rush in my brain as the chasm between the simple and the horrible surreal complex evaporated. That moment my old life ended and a new one began. "Hey, we gotta do that! . . . We could learn it for Thanksgiving!" "No, no -- we can't -- it's not done yet!" Thanksgiving assembly. The ONE time we would do the song. My strictest instructions to everyone were not to mention who wrote it, but Don circumvented that by saying, "Here's a song written by one of the Millburnaires." At the end of the assembly, people streamed backstage. Somewhere the answer slipped out. I became adamant that we would never sing the song again. My head was swirling. Next Monday my homeroom teacher asked to see me after school for a "just between you and me" chat. She wondered why I didn't want to sing that song anymore. I pulled out the answer that I had been toying with all weekend, and told her that I had sold it. But nothing would abate her curiosity. When she asked, "For how much?" I blurted out $1,000. Her surprise led me quickly to add that I had given it away, and "Where?" became C.A.R.E. I'd begun to make Pinocchio look like he had a pug nose.

Freshmen Deny Dylan Wrote Song (Daily Princetonian)

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