Hand-written verses believed to be the teenage musings of Bob Dylan were actually the lyrics to a song by an obscure Canadian country singer, according to Christie's, which auctioned the poem Tuesday as the work of the rock and roll bard.
The auction house initially failed to catch that "Little Buddy," which Dylan supposedly penned while 16, away at Jewish camp and going by his given name of Robert Zimmerman. After the sale, Reuters determined the words were actually a song written by the late Canadian country singer Hank Snow, and informed the auction house.
Snow died in 1999 at age 85.
"Additional information has come to our attention about the handwritten poem submitted by Bob Dylan to his camp newspaper, written when he was 16, entitled 'Little Buddy.' The words are in fact a revised version of lyrics of a Hank Snow song," Christie's said in a statement.
"This still remains among the earliest known handwritten lyrics of Bob Dylan and Christie's is pleased to offer them in our Pop Culture auction on June 23."
The manuscript had been expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000. It was not clear what the buyer had paid.
Christie's said Dylan, still using his given name Robert Zimmerman, signed the piece Bobby Zimmerman and submitted it to the Herzl Camp newspaper. The editor of the paper kept it for more than 50 years and recently donated it to Herzl Camp, a Jewish camp in Wisconsin, Christie's said.
Written in blue ink on both sides of a single sheet of paper, it reads in part, "But I'll meet my precious buddy up in the sky/ By a tiny narrow grave/ Where the willows sadly wave." Those words and others match the Snow song.
Dylan's management office had no immediate comment.