The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47914   Message #4138459
Posted By: Felipa
14-Mar-22 - 12:19 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: 'How many ships sail in the forest?'
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'How many ships sail in the forest?'
Guest - Richard Fariña used the tune of an existing song and borrowed a verse that was already in the older song. Maybe he was intrigued by the mysterious verse. As he didn't compose it, only added the words "dark" and "black" to the lines, he may not have fully comprehended the lines himself. I'm not even sure that the ships weren't already described as "dark" in some versions of the song which predate "Birmingham Sunday". It is often up to the listener to interpret lines of poetry. Some ideas - there may be plenty of "blackberries", but that doesn't mean any are expendable. Or simply that events such as the masacre at Birmingham Sunday are imponderable; we will always be asking how and why. The latter isn't too far from your own interpretation.

other Mudcatters; did Richard Fariña himself explain his choice of words and his choice to borrow this particular verse - anywhere in writing or in an interview or an introduction to performance?