Take a Message to Mary

Posted in response to Totally Optional Prompts‘ request for poems inspired by the ‘Send a Message’ prompt. When I read the prompt, I immediately thought of this song in the version I know – by Bob Dylan. It is on Self-Portrait from 1970 (also see my previous Belle Isle post). I seem to recall that it was originally recorded by the Everly Brothers. (It was a chart hit for them in 1959.) Here goes:

These are the words of a frontier man
Who lost his love when he turned bad.

Take a message to Mary
But don’t tell here where I am
Take a message to Mary
But don’t say I’m in a jam
You can tell her that I had to see the world
Tell her that my ship set sail
You can say she’d better not wait for me
But don’t tell her I’m in jail
Oh don’t tell her I’m in jail

Take a message to Mary
But don’t tell her what I’ve done
Please don’t mention the stage coach
And the shot from a careless gun
You can tell her that I had to change my plans
And cancel out the wedding day
But please don’t mention the lonely cell
Where I’m gonna pine away
Until my dying day

Take a message to Mary
But don’t tell her all you know
My heart is aching for Mary
Lord knows I miss her so
Just tell her that I went to Timbuktu
Tell her that I’m searching for gold
You can say she better find someone new
To cherish and to hold
Oh Lord this cell is cold

Written by B. & F. Bryant


About James Steerforth

I am an author of poetry and fiction, translator and painter who loves to have fun with borrowed feathers.
This entry was posted in Bob Dylan, Lyrics, Music, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Take a Message to Mary

  1. whypaisley says:

    finally i can comment on your blog!!!! this is a treat!!!! now i am going to have to go back and see if i can remember the comments i wanted to post before!!!!!

  2. suburbanlife says:

    I love this song… love the folksiness of it. It makes me pine for my youth. Thanks for posting this. G

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.