The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47914   Message #4138456
Posted By: GUEST
14-Mar-22 - 12:01 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: 'How many ships sail in the forest?'
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'How many ships sail in the forest?'
I found this discussion via a Google search for the meaning of "How many dark ships in the forest?"
I am haunted by the referenced verse from "Birmingham Sunday" by Richard Fariña. Unfortunately, Fariña died long ago --- only a couple of years after he wrote that song. So, no chance of asking him! I wonder whether Joan Baez, who recorded the song and was Fariña's sister-in-law, has any opinion of its meaning?
The previous post makes a certain amount of sense, but I'm not entirely satisfied. The event depicted in "Birmingham Sunday" was a very significant moment in American history, and it would be good to have a common understanding of this seemingly nonsense verse near the end of the song. Perhaps, Richard Fariña was saying, in effect, that any attempt to justify or minimize the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church and the deaths of four young Black girls by saying Blacks shouldn't have been trying to register to vote and otherwise achieve equality and desegregation IS A RED HERRING. "How many black berries grow in the blue sea?" Fariña's response: "How many dark ships in the forest?" In other words, the question does not deserve the dignity of a response.