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Black is the color

DigiTrad:
BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY TRUE LOVE'S HAIR (1)
BLACK IS THE COLOUR (2)


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blackstreamlaw 02 Apr 12 - 08:28 AM
scouse 02 Apr 12 - 08:37 AM
Jack Campin 02 Apr 12 - 09:17 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Apr 12 - 09:41 AM
Owen Woodson 02 Apr 12 - 09:59 AM
Dave Hanson 02 Apr 12 - 10:38 AM
scouse 03 Apr 12 - 04:23 AM
Bugsy 03 Apr 12 - 04:41 AM
Leadfingers 03 Apr 12 - 04:55 AM
matt milton 03 Apr 12 - 04:58 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Apr 12 - 05:34 AM
GUEST 03 Apr 12 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,I Don,t Know 03 Apr 12 - 05:51 AM
Nick 03 Apr 12 - 06:20 AM
alex s 03 Apr 12 - 07:06 AM
scouse 03 Apr 12 - 07:29 AM
Jack Campin 03 Apr 12 - 08:07 AM
matt milton 03 Apr 12 - 08:19 AM
matt milton 03 Apr 12 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Apr 12 - 08:26 AM
Snuffy 03 Apr 12 - 08:59 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Apr 12 - 09:22 AM
Dave Hanson 03 Apr 12 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,matt milton 03 Apr 12 - 10:20 AM
Jack Campin 03 Apr 12 - 10:59 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Apr 12 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Apr 12 - 11:26 AM
Dave Hanson 03 Apr 12 - 12:57 PM
MGM·Lion 03 Apr 12 - 01:53 PM
Tattie Bogle 03 Apr 12 - 02:27 PM
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Subject: Black is the color
From: blackstreamlaw
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 08:28 AM

Anybody know anything about a punk version of "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair"?


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: scouse
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 08:37 AM

No!.. but listen to Hamish Imlach play and sing it.. His guitar work is superb!!

As Aye,

Phil


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 09:17 AM

Hamish Imlach's version is repulsive. The story behind it is that on one occasion he couldn't remember the John Jacob Niles version (via Joan Baez) so he just made up a random approximation on the spot. And stuck with it, probably because he realized he would always be too drunk to remember the original. Which is very much better, unless you're a middle-aged overweight alcoholic 50-a-day smoker trying to pull it off.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 09:41 AM

The Niles version is a horror anyhow ~~ a grave and gross travesty of that beautiful song collected by Sharp in 1916 from Mrs Lizzie Roberts of Hot Springs NC and included in his English Folk Songs from the Appalachians.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 09:59 AM

A punk version of Black is the Colour of my True Love's Hair? How about Spiky is the Shape of My True Love's Hair?


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Apr 12 - 10:38 AM

Everything Niles did is repulsive , it all sounds the same, like a wailing banshee.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: scouse
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 04:23 AM

I would love to be drunk and still play guitar like Hamish did!! And why the Personal insults of Hamish.. Did you know him?? No, I don't suppose you did.

As Aye,

Phil


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Bugsy
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 04:41 AM

I've always been rather partial to the Hamish Imlach version too.

Still, as a mate of mine used to say, "That's why we have horse races"

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 04:55 AM

Is there a recording of the song as collected by Sharp ??


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: matt milton
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 04:58 AM

"repulsive" is a pretty strong word. What's repulsive about it?

My favourite version of Black Is The Colour is the a capella Pete Seeger version. Very moving. And a bit spooky. He sings it almost like it's a threat!


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:34 AM

Leadfingers ~ Yes: Christy Moore and Cara Dillon ~ both on YouTube. Can't say I like either much; Moore's singing always sounds a bit too laidback feeble for me, and Cara D a bit too arranged for my taste, but Emma, more into pop than folk, liked hers.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:42 AM

I like Hamish's version too. It's probably one of my fave versions


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: GUEST,I Don,t Know
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:51 AM

John Wright sung a lovely version.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Nick
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 06:20 AM

I like Karan Casey's versions too


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: alex s
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 07:06 AM

Jack Campin - I DID know Hamish and he was a great bloke, generous and funny.
When you played on the bill with him he was never condescending about those who were less illustrious than him.
We all smoked and drank like crazy then - look at most of the big (and smaller) names then and you'd see a mighty boozer.
Suffering serious illnesses as Hamish did might cause any of us to drink just to help us go on.

Remember him as a great musician and entertainer with a generous soul.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: scouse
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 07:29 AM

Well said Alex s!!

As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 08:07 AM

We all smoked and drank like crazy then - look at most of the big (and smaller) names then and you'd see a mighty boozer.

And glamourizing that lifestyle, as Imlach did more than most, left a lot of people damaged and dead.

The two people who did more than anyone to get me interested in traditional music, at around the time Imlach was at the height of his career, were Jean Ritchie and Jean Redpath - and they weren't boozers. There was no more excuse for it then than there is now, and there was certainly no excuse for trying to make it look macho and cool.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: matt milton
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 08:19 AM

I think there's a limit to how far it can be said that a fat jocular folksinger can be "glamourizing" anything.

Look at photos of Hamish Imlach (often with drink in hand). The words "macho" and "cool" do not spring to mind.

He liked a drink. He sang drinking songs with gusto. Drinking songs crop up a lot in folk music, be it English, Irish, Scots or American.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: matt milton
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 08:21 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GNdlC-CWSU


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 08:26 AM

Dunno about a punk version, but there's a lovely psych-folk version by US band Espers on their Weed Tree mini album. And our Ken sometimes sings it beautifully at the Beech in Chorlton.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Snuffy
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 08:59 AM

How does he sing it the other times? :-)


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 09:22 AM

"Drinking songs crop up a lot in folk music"

,..,.

So do racist songs and wife-beating songs. And your point is...?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 10:17 AM

Jack Campin seems to have some grudge against Hamish for reasons known only to himself.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 10:20 AM

I'd have thought my point would have been obvious: that there's absolutely nothing wrong with songs that celebrate getting drunk!

To suggest that the rich and variegated folk songs that hymn the joys of inebriation are somehow on a level with those "and then I whacked my wife, ho ho" type lyrics is absurd.

Fathom The Bowl, for instance, is a beautiful song, a mutant brew that manages to celebrate craftsmanship, smuggling, and a delight in all the little exotic spices that add flavour to life. It even slips in a nice little 'Full Fathom Five'-style piece of mysticism at the end, a cryptic memento mori, which psych-folks it up a little.

But favourite drinking song at the moment is probably Willie Brewed a Peck of Malt. Whatever Willie's moonshine was, it must have been a potent concoction: as paeans to getting rat-arsed go, it's a positively transcendental.

Christ, if we condemned every single enjoyable vice that every reared its head in song we'd have a folksong tradition as watery and thin as low-alcohol-lager.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 10:59 AM

Matt McGinn managed to kill himself with smoking and alcohol simultaneously. But he expressed a far wider range of ideas than Imlach did, and didn't make it a personal mission to drag music down to the level of mediocrity best appreciated by loudmouthed drunken punters in a bar. And in fact I don't even know if McGinn had an ongoing alcohol problem - "Screwtops Keep Falling On My Head" isn't exactly an alkies' anthem.

There is nothing personal about it. Simply that McGinn left songs that made the world a better place and Imlach degraded every song he touched with egoistic brag.

(OK, the Clancy Brothers were even worse).


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 11:06 AM

I should be interested in your defence of the oxymoron "enjoyable vice". Or some examples ~~ Let's hear it for Rape, maybe?

I was in fact merely questioning your unthinking assumption that everything sung about in folksong must ipso facto be a Good Thing. There are many possible views concerning alcohol. I am right off it these days, apart from maybe a civil sip of champagne at a wedding. Not trying to set myself up as any sort of killjoy, or moral authority, or whatever, and it is indeed not a moral thing with me but simply the fact that, on turning 70, I suddenly realised I didn't like it much, & hated its effects ~~ what you all find so rewarding in being out of your own control I can't imagine. Why on earth want to sing paeans to 'getting rat-arsed-?

But, be that as it may, the correlation between alcohol and antisocial behaviour, crime, marital breakdown, must give any person with any pretensions to any sort of respectable morality pause for thought. If you really can't see that, then you are nought but an ostrich.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 11:26 AM

Is it not possible to be sober most of the time, have the odd drink some of the time, get a bit tipsy once in a while and get rat-arsed once in a blue moon? Works for me.

Anyway, not all drinking songs are about getting rat-arsed. I direct you back to A L Lloyd's English Drinking Songs...

Anyway back to Black is the Colour - very funny, Snuffy. Made me giggle, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 12:57 PM

Nothing personal my arse Jack, as your latest rant against Hamish proves.
You have obviously not heard many of Hamish's recodings, or seen him live or met him. [ or have you ?]

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 01:53 PM

Of course it's possible, Nigel SC.; & goodie4U that it 'works for' you. But I wonder how many helpless wifeless homeless alkies have started off by just asking that very question?


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Subject: RE: Black is the color
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 02:27 PM

Well I was told that what Willie brewed was beer or ale with his peck o' maut (malt) but maybe it was of high % or a sheer volume thing.
While Jack can answer for himself, I wouldn't mind betting that he IS familiar with the recordings of Hamish Imlach and probably would have met him/seen him live. But I really don't know why he has to go into this rant mode whenever he gets on to an internet forum. It would be as well to remember that although the person he is slating is dead, there are still living family and friends who might be seriously offended by what he has written if they should happen upon it. While he is entitled to his opinion and to free speech, the views are to say the least, extreme and over-stated.
And as an aside to this, I always feel very uncomfortable when "Blue Bleezin' Blind Drunk" or "Glasgow Lullaby" are sung, not because of the alcohol per se, but both songs are about domestic abuse: while fortunately I have never suffered it, there may well be people listening who have.


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