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Liverpool musician turns lost lyrics by fifth Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe into a song

by Chris Bradley. Published Wed 30 Jan 2013 14:26, last updated: 30/01/13
Dean Johnson
Dean Johnson

Lost lyrics written by the late "fifth Beatle" Stuart Sutcliffe have been heard for the first time in a brand new song.

The prose dates back to 1959 when Sutcliffe and close friend John Lennon were students at the Liverpool College of Art.

A letter written by Sutcliffe to a girl called "Sheila" accompanied the incomplete song sent by internet station Radio Rock on Tour to musician Dean Johnson.

Dean, 52, is a Beatles fanatic who has attracted a cult following on Merseyside with his own pop and indie songs and has a large following in the US

He claims the unheard lyrics from Stuart Sutcliffe - who died more than 50 years ago - are more "poingnant and enigmatic" than the other Beatles band members.

The lyrics to Sheila are: "Shall sorrow lean her drooping head, to touch with your dark lightly tread.

"A flower shrinks from cold and rain, but bright new sun cheeks cheer again.

"Smiles that might be tears.....that laugh with pain of dried out years.

"And sky cloud eyes that look in wonder.

"From cheeks where soft bright shadows creep right under and wonder where the milk dew creams.

"A cheek with pinks a screw with dreams, o eternal spirit of the chainless mind."

There is one other line which have sadly faded over time and are barely eligible.

Stuart Sutcliffe left the Fab Four in 1961 to pursue a career as an artist in Hamburg after falling in love with photographer Astrid Kirscherr.

He is credited with having a huge influence on the band both musically and artistically before he died in 1962 from a brain haemorrhage.

Dean, from Bebington, Wirral, sang the lyrics in a full song he wrote live on BBC Radio Merseyside show On the Beat.

He first brought new Beatles music to the ears of fans in 2010 when he used some words written by George Harrison to create a song called Silence (Is Its Own Reply).

Dean said: "The prose is very poetic with the influence of Keats or Byron, the great English romantics.

"It's interesting that the level of sophistication is way ahead of early Lennon and McCartney.

"Stuart Sutcliffe's profile is really on the rise, he was always iconic because he looked so cool and died very young.

"But it seems his lyrical prowess allowed him to write deep and beautiful songs, which were a lot more poingant and enigmatic than his friends'."

There appears to be two pages to the letter written by tragic Sutcliffe who has become a romantic figure in popular culture since his death at just 21 years-old.

In it he tells the mysterious Sheila about his "mixed fortunes" with photography and admits he failed to recognise her writing which "I thought I knew".

Dean mused: "Perhaps Sheila is still out there."

The track is not currently scheduled for release.

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