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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
leeneia I folk process Black is the Color. (2) I folk process Black is the Color. 26 Aug 22


In another thread somebody asked if "Black is the Color" is public domain or not. The answer seems to be that the words (which vary a lot) are PD but the tune most people know is not PD. It was published by John Jacob Niles in 1941 and the copyright has probably been renewed. Not that it's easy to get a definite answer, you understand.

So I decided to write a new tune which would be similar and release it to the public using a CC license. Now I just have to remember what CC stands for. I've sent the MIDI to Joe for copying here.

The more you write a tune, the more you have to look at the lyrics, and the more I looked at the lyrics, the more they bugged me. So I decided to modify them to tell the story of a young woman in love - not a woman who's in love in verse one and broken-hearted four lines later.

About Troublesome. Troublesome was a name given by country people to creeks which flood. I've run across two real-world Troublesomes in my life, one in Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge and one in Kentucky, the site of recent terrible flooding. So that explains verse 3.

Sorry about the hyphens. They make the lyrics fit the notes.

Black is the col-or of my true love's hair.
His eyes are dark and kind and fair.
With ten-der lips and gen-tle hands.
I love the ground on which he stands.
I love my love, and well he knows.
If he on earth no more I'd see,
my joy in life would ne-ver be.
I love my love, and well he knows.
I go to Trou-ble-some, that mis-chiev-ous creek.
It’s shal-low now; my thoughts are deep.
I'll write a song with lov-ing rhymes.
I'll sing his name a thou-sand times.
I love my love, and well he knows.
Black is the col-or of my true love's hair.


Click to play (joeweb)


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