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Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl

DigiTrad:
THE FIRST TIME


Related threads:
Ewan MacColl in the new Private Eye (5)
(origins) Origins: First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (71)
Did Ewan Maccoll sing The First Time (46)
Lyr Req: First time ever I saw your face (32)
Lyr/Chords Req: The First Time Ever I...(MacColl) (18)
Lyr Req: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (22)


GUEST,Bald Eaglet 08 Nov 00 - 03:52 PM
black walnut 09 Nov 00 - 01:09 PM
sheila 09 Nov 00 - 08:17 PM
Mark Cohen 10 Nov 00 - 03:34 AM
GeorgeH 10 Nov 00 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Stefan 18 Jun 01 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Scabby Doug at work 18 Jun 01 - 07:29 AM
Mark Cohen 18 Jun 01 - 06:23 PM
Lin in Kansas 18 Jun 01 - 07:12 PM
Susanne (skw) 18 Jun 01 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Mikey joe 10 Jul 02 - 08:11 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Jul 02 - 01:46 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Jul 02 - 11:34 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Jan 05 - 07:30 PM
GUEST 25 May 07 - 01:36 PM
GUEST 25 May 07 - 01:43 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jun 09 - 03:44 AM
Beer 27 Jun 09 - 10:07 AM
The Borchester Echo 27 Jun 09 - 11:48 AM
sheila 27 Jun 09 - 01:44 PM
FreddyHeadey 25 Oct 16 - 07:34 AM
michaelr 25 Oct 16 - 06:45 PM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 18 - 10:59 AM
mayomick 15 Mar 18 - 12:58 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 18 - 04:58 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Mar 18 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,eric armstrong 21 Mar 18 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Greg.F 21 Mar 18 - 02:43 PM
David Carter (UK) 21 Mar 18 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,eric armstrong 23 Mar 18 - 12:17 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Mar 18 - 12:43 PM
The Sandman 23 Mar 18 - 02:47 PM
Vic Smith 24 Mar 18 - 07:32 AM
David Carter (UK) 24 Mar 18 - 01:18 PM
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Subject: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
From: GUEST,Bald Eaglet
Date: 08 Nov 00 - 03:52 PM

My dad knows the words but can't remember the tune. He says he's never got to grips with ABC, etc, but if necessary, he'll try.

Hattie


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
From: black walnut
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 01:09 PM

have you heard peggy seeger sing this? (it is about her). it's totally different from any other version i've ever heard....and the most gorgeous version, imho.

~'nut


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
From: sheila
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 08:17 PM

black walnut - Yes , I've heard Peggy Seeger sing it. I attended a 3-day seminar she and McColl did, at a folk club in Glasgow in 1964 or 65. The electricity in the room was amazing!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 03:34 AM

I saw them at their folk club in London at the Bull and Mouth when I was traveling there in 1978. They said that the song was written during a series of transatlantic phone calls. Makes it even more romantic...

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
From: GeorgeH
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 02:24 PM

The only version which approaches Peggy Seeger's own is that of June Tabor on her most recent cd . .

Also - I'm glad to have the "written down during transatlantic phonecalls" story confirmed - I'd heard it before but only from less than authoritative sources.

However I think "Lovesong for Modern Times" was a sub-title - leastways that's how I recall it (in New City Songster, I believe).

G.


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Subject: The First Time - that ever I saw...
From: GUEST,Stefan
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 07:09 AM

I know bits of the Ewan Macoll song the first time that ever I saw your face but I can't find all of it. Does anyone know all the words and chords? Better still does anyone have midi/sheet music for it? There must be dozens of versions out there but - and here is where the discussion takes over from the request - Who do you think has done the best version and why?

If you can trace your opinion to a specific recording or better still an event or performance that would be worth reading.

Stay cool Stef


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The first Time - that ever I
From: GUEST,Scabby Doug at work
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 07:29 AM

36) THE FIRST TIME

    In the digitrad...

    Chords, I'm not sure about...

    His version was very simple, from an accompaniment POV. Roberta Flack's was very unfolky, but sophisticated. I think I liked Roberta's, but it's a fine song...


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The first Time - that ever I
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:23 PM

Just an aside....I saw Ewan and Peggy at their folk club (The Singers Club at the Bull & Mouth) on a visit to London in 1978. Ewan mentioned that he had written the song during a series of transatlantic phone calls to Peggy while they were courting. Makes me appreciate the song even more. And although it's not "folky", I do love Roberta Flack's version. It would be interesting to know if Ewan ever expressed an opinion on it.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The first Time - that ever I
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 07:12 PM


John In Remote Kansas (JIRK) on LIK's cookie

Stefan

Rise Up Singing gives lyrics & a chord line. I'm not sure I can make the chords work with it, but below is what I found:

The first time ever I saw your face
I though the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon & stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark & the empty skies, my love
To the dark & the empty skies

D A D - / - - F#m G/ D Em E - / C – D - / /

The first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move in my hand
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love
That was there at my command

The first time ever I lay with you
And felt your heart beat close to mine
I thought our joy would fill the earth
And last til the end of time, my love
And last til the end of time.

Ewan MacColl
(c) 1962 Stormking Music, Inc
On Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger "New Britton Gazette 2" & "Freeborn Man"
Roberta Flack "First Take" & "Best of"
Peter Paul& Mary "See What Tomorrow Brings" & "Hootenanny"
& others

John


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Subject: Origins: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 07:14 PM

This is what MacColl says on the subject in his autobiography, followed by a few interesting snippets from Robin Denselow:

[1990:] At different times I've thought of myself as a dramatist, a slater's labourer, teaboy, errand lad, ballad-singer, apprentice motor mechanic, unemployed ... but never as a songwriter. [...] If the success [of The First Time Ever] had followed hard on the heels of the song's composition, it might have been a different story. I mean, I might have noticed what was happening. But it took more than fifteen years to take off and hit the jackpot. Peggy gave it its first performance at a solo concert in Los Angeles. It was part of an eight weeks' tour of the USA, for which, at the last moment, the State Department had refused to grant me a visa. [A] lot of people heard The First Time Ever sung in the way it was meant to be sung. Twelve months later the Kingston Trio recorded it in a sanitised version - they changed 'The first time ever I lay with you' to 'The first time ever I danced with you'. Several more months passed and it was recorded again, this time in a more apt arrangement by Peter, Paul and Mary. It was slowly catching on and, in the months that followed, it appeared on albums made by the Brothers Four, the Smothers Brothers, Harry Belafonte, Elvis Presley and others. [...] It made singularly little impression on me. I was scarcely conscious of it. I had lots of other things on my mind, not least of which was the need to earn a living. [...] It wasn't until 1971 when Roberta Flack recorded her soul version of the song that I became aware of having written a commercially successful 'hit'. At first I didn't realise just how successful. A friend happened to mention that he'd heard it sung in a pop-music programme on the radio. I was unimpressed and continued to be unimpressed. I was in my mid-fifties and had lived hand to mouth for almost all of my life. [...] What I do remember about the early days of the success of First Time Ever is a curious phone call. In 1971, an American voice at the other end introduced itself as belonging to the London representative of an American magazine. 'I'd like to ask you a few questions,' said the voice. 'Go ahead,' says I. 'How does it feel to have written the number one hit in the States?' I had just started to reply when the voice cut in again, the smooth interviewer's manner collapsing before the sudden flood of hate and anger. 'How does it feel to be a dirty fucking cocksucking red bastard ...' At this point he became inarticulate with rage and began to shriek obscenities. I was shaking when I put the phone down. Completely unnerved. [...] The success of The First Time Ever was a kind of watershed in our lives. Both Peggy and I were now in a position to spend a lot more time on political songwriting. (MacColl, Journeyman 362ff.)



[1989:] It is ironic, considering MacColl's history, that the one song for which he is best known is not political at all, but a love song, and that it became a hit not for him, or Peggy Seeger, but for Roberta Flack. [It] was written "in eight or nine minutes" in 1956 while MacColl, in London, was phoning Peggy Seeger in Los Angeles. Peggy sang it in public for the first time that same evening. In 1972 that same song caused a sensation when Flack's version was used in the soundtrack of the Clint Eastwood film 'Play Misty For Me'. It was a million-selling number one hit in the USA, and won Grammys for both her and MacColl, and has earned far more than anything else he has written. When I met him at his house in a quiet, tree-lined street in the south London suburb of Beckenham, I noticed that there were builders at work redecorating. [...] He could afford this, he said, because Oil of Ulay had used one line of The First Time Ever in a beauty products television commercial. It was all the more ironic considering the history of MacColl's relationship with the USA. In Britain, in the fifties, MacColl's views were profoundly opposed to those of the Conservative Government in power, but that didn't stop him working [...]. It was when MacColl tried to sing in the USA in 1960 that [...] the American Embassy in London refused to grant him a visa, and when he asked why, he was shown a dossier and a photograph of himself that had been taken at an anti-Fascist meeting outside the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, twenty-seven years earlier. Like so many in the USA, he was told he had committed that quite extraordinary sin of being a 'premature anti-Fascist'. (Denselow, Music 28)


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Subject: Chd Req: First time ever I saw your face
From: GUEST,Mikey joe
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 08:11 AM

I am looking for the chords to this. I have heard in done recently in (I think) open D or DADGAD and wonder if anyone knows what the chords to this are??

Thanks

Mj


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Subject: RE: Chd Req: First time ever I saw your face
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 01:46 PM

Chords are not my scene, so apologies if my notation is a bit amateur. And all I can do is tell you the chords. - how you tune your guitar is your own affair, and obviously if you change the tuning you'll have to change the fingering accordingly.

The (E) first time (B7) ever I (E) saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your (G#min, F#min) eyes.
And the (E) moon and (F#min then B7) stars
Were the gift you (E) gave
To the (D) dark and the empty (A) skies, my (E) love,
To the (D) dark and the emp-(B7)-ty (E) skies.

This is about how it is in Pluto's Big Red Songbook, but I don't like going to (A) at "skies" - I'd go to E maybe. Where I've got two chords in brackets, you fit them both to the following word.


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Subject: RE: Chd Req: First time ever I saw your face
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 11:34 PM

Roberta Flack chords on this Ewan MacColl song at First Time
Nice painting on this website. At the end of the lyrics are some more chords that are hard to read.


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Subject: RE: lyr.requ. the first time I ever saw your
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:30 PM

" The first time ever I kissed your mouth"

'Kissed your lips' scans SO much better...


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Subject: RE: Chd Req: First time ever I saw your face
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 07 - 01:36 PM

Those Roberta Flack chords are similar to the chords in the version
that I know. Almost identical, but a couple of differences between
the two.
So, why do these chord changes not match well with the tune on Digital Tradition?
The chords in E posted above work out for the tune on DT, but why
would Roberta, as well as other artists I've heard sing this song,
arrange the chords so differently from the way that Ewan MacColl
wrote it?


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Subject: RE: Chd Req: First time ever I saw your face
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 07 - 01:43 PM

In the Key of E, it would be F#m for the first measure of the
melody. That's in the version that I know; but the melody doesn't
sound right, unless you play E.


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Subject: DT Correction: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 03:44 AM

The Digital Tradition transposes parts of the second and third verses, although there seems to be logic in the DT's connecting "your heart beat" with "like the trembling heart of a captive bird." Here are what I consider the definitive lyrics, from The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook.


THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE
(Ewan MacColl)

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes -
And the moon and stars were the gift you gave
To the dark and empty skies, my love,
To the dark and empty skies.

The first time ever I kissed your mouth,
I felt the earth move in my hand -
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love
That was there at my command.

The first time ever I lay with you
And felt your heart beat over* mine -
I thought our joy would fill the earth
And last till the end of time, my love
And last till the end of time.


*MacColl's original text contained "next to mine" here. Either choice is viable. The Ewan MacColl-Peggy Seeger Songbook (Oak, 1963) has "close to mine," but otherwise has lyrics identical to those posted above.

MacColl said this song was made in the course of a transatlantic phone call to Peggy Seeger, who was in Los Angeles at the time. It took all of seven or eight minutes to complete and was never rewritten. Peggy sang it from a typed text that same evening. Peggy claims MacColl never sang the song himself after that phone call, but many UK folkies claim they heard MacColl sing the song occasionally.

Source: The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook
Alternate title: THE FIRST TIME (EVER)
written in 1957, (c) 1962 Stormking Music, Inc
On Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger "New Briton Gazette 2" & "Freeborn Man"
Roberta Flack "First Take" & "Best of"
Peter Paul & Mary "See What Tomorrow Brings" & "Hootenanny" & others


@love
filename[ FIRSTIME
TUNE FILE: FIRSTIME
CLICK TO PLAY
DC
Here's what's in the current version in the DT, without correction:

THE FIRST TIME
(Ewan MacColl)

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the empty skies, my love,
To the dark and the empty skies.

The first time ever I kissed your mouth
And felt your heart beat close to mine
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love
That was there at my command.

The first time ever I lay with you
I felt the earth move in my hand
I thought our joy would fill the earth
And last 'till the end of time, my love,
And last 'till the end of time.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright 1962 by Stormking Music, Inc.
Recorded on his and Peggy Seeger's New Britton Gazette 2, by
Peter Paul and Mary on See What Tomorrow Brings, and many others.
@love
filename[ FIRSTIME
TUNE FILE: FIRSTIME
CLICK TO PLAY
DC


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: Beer
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 10:07 AM

Interesting how musician's use different chords. Here is what Gordon Lightfoot uses.

(D) The first time (A) ever I (D) saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your (F#m) eyes (Em)
(D) And the moon and the (G) stars (D) were the gifts you (A) gave
To the (C) night (G) and the empty (D) skies my love
To the (C) night (G) and the empty (D) skies (C) (G) (D)


Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 11:48 AM

I saw Ewan sing it once, one Saturday night at the Union Tavern in the early 1970s. He didn't introduce it at all, just sat on a chair the wrong way round as was his wont, leaned over the back and sang it. If pins were dropped they'd have been heard. My recollection is that Peggy was onstage too, but setting up with other musicians for what they were doing next.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: sheila
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 01:44 PM

I heard him sing it at a club in Glasgow in the mid 60's. Peggy was with him, and the performance was stunning.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 25 Oct 16 - 07:34 AM

A BBC programme, interviews with people about how
'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'
has affected their lives; and some history and comments by Peggy Seeger.

BBC r4 "Soul Music 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' "  


"Memories of first love, first borns and loss are stirred by The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, the timeless love song written by Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, and made famous by Roberta Flack.

The activist and folk musician Peggy Seeger tells the story of her first meeting with Ewan MacColl, which would inspire him to write the song, and talks about what the song means to her today. MacColl's biographer Ben Harker explains why this song is so different from much of Ewan's other work.

Julie Young talks about singing the song to her son Reagan, who had severe complex needs following a cardiac arrest as a baby, and the writer Louise Janson speaks about what the song came to mean to her as she set out on the path to becoming a mother on her own.

Writer and academic Jason King tells the story of how Roberta Flack came to cover this ballad by a Scottish folk musician, and how it catapulted her to fame. And Kandace Springs, a singer and pianist from Nashville, Tennessee, records her version of the song and talks about why the song is one of the greatest love songs of all time.

Produced by Mair Bosworth."


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Oct 16 - 06:45 PM

Christy Moore did a nice version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 10:59 AM

Just had a circular from Sidmouth Folk Week 2018 which announces this event -
Amongst some of the great new additions to that variety are some special afternoon ‘In Conversation’ events including Billy Bragg talking to Colin Irwin about Roots, Radicals and Rockers and Peggy Seeger with Sandra Kerr discussing First Time Ever.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: mayomick
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 12:58 PM

Many like Clinton in 2015 don’t like " The first time ever I kissed your mouth" preferring the more delicate “kissed your lips” .They miss the sensuous , sensual point in my opinion .You never know, maybe Macoll had somewhere even more sensuous in mind when he wrote the line !
Does anyone apart from me think the music is based on the air to Blackwater side ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 04:58 AM

"Does anyone apart from me think the music is based on the air to Blackwater side ?"
Possily Mick - I never thought about it
Peggy attributes the to Ewan, but she was in America when he made and first gave it to her
Most of MacColl's tunes were based on traditional ones - he picked one, and drove everybody insane while he remade ift by humming and whistling it in adapted forms until he had a new tune (I say him do it once over three days- maddening)
Tunnel Tigers was made from an Irish version of 'William Taylor' sung by a London/Irish singer, Paul Lenihan; Shoals of Herring,Freeborn Man and several others all came from Gavin Greig's 'Famous Flower of Serving Men' (Child #106)
When Peggy was preparing 'The Essential Ewan MacColl for publication, she sent us a list of about a dozen songs she hadn't traced - we got used to working out ho he made his tunes
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 05:01 AM

Might also be 'Verdant Braes of Screen' of course
The McPeake's were very much on the scene when the song was made
Jim Caarroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: GUEST,eric armstrong
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 01:32 PM

It is nice to see a thread on the ever popular/controversial subject of Ewen MacColl, which for once focuses upon a positive aspect of his life.
Consideration of this great song reminds me of what a truly great songwriter he was.
What I find so remarkable is he adopted a genre distinct from his usual domain, which was more appropriate for what he wanted to express, he then went on to produce one of the greatest love songs ever written.A song which any songwriter on earth would have been proud to have authored.
This to me is the mark of genius. This wonderful song combined with the rest of his amazing catalogue places him among the very greatest songwriters ever.
Mr MacColl may have had eccentricities and opinions which puzzled and infuriated many people, however this thread serves to remind me of his true greatness and I will continue to appreciate and enjoy the incredible legacy which he left behind
Eric Armstrong


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: GUEST,Greg.F
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 02:43 PM

Thank you Eric. Well stated


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 21 Mar 18 - 03:06 PM

The funny thing is Eric, that I don't believe that The First Time Ever is the greatest love song he wrote. My favourite is "You and I" from Hot Blast. Sung on that album by Peggy Seeger, haunting accompaniment from Ewan's children, and covered by almost nobody. Its different in that its a song for a couple who have been in love for many years, now approaching the ends of their lives. Jim Carroll may say something, he sang backing vocals on that album, though I don't think there are backing vocals on that track.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: GUEST,eric armstrong
Date: 23 Mar 18 - 12:17 PM

Each of us may have an opinion regarding "the greatest song he ever wrote". There are so many great songs that I could never choose a favourite, let alone a "greatest".
One thing that I would like to add however is that unlike many professional songwriters who knock out a song in order to fill up an album or pay next months rent,MacColl,s songs all had real subject matter and meaning. Whether it be protest about rights of way or musings about his father, all were put together in a masterly fashion with a great command of poetic language and melody.
I thought that the comment made earlier by Jim Carroll was very significant when he stated that MacColl would spend days humming or whistling a melody until he had it to his satisfaction.
This I think demonstrates the strength of his creative urge and the self discipline to drive it to completion
Eric Armstrong


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Mar 18 - 12:43 PM

"Jim Carroll may say something"
I agree entirely David - you ight say that 'First Time Ever was made at the beginning of their relationship
Although Peggy says it was written at her request to fill in a gap in her programme, she also describes how she had gone to America at the time to decide whether she wished to become involved with this "older man" - so you can be sure it was a declaration of love as well
Personally, although I sand it (far earlier than it ever became as popular as it did) I never counted it as anything like his best song.
Peggy says that they were staggered when the cheque arrived - she said they both expected that if any of his songs made any money it would be 'Dirty Old Town   
Of all the 'personal' songs Ewan made, I think I prefer those about his parents - he gave a very moving description of how his mother's songs came to be written after a day out on the beach with his mother.
His 'dedication' proved a major problem for me one time when I was doing an electrical job for them
They asked me to re-wire their ancient lighting system as it had reached the stage of blowing fuses regularly - Ewan was writing 'The Festival of Fools' scripts under pressure.
I had planned to complete so many lights in one day (as you had to) and was half way though the circuit when Ewan came down from his writing and insisted that Peggy and I listen to what he had written so far and make comments
As we sat and listened it began to grow dark so that in the end I had to finish the circuit with the aid of a torch
Good days!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Mar 18 - 02:47 PM

MY OLD MANis a very good song


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: Vic Smith
Date: 24 Mar 18 - 07:32 AM

I had planned to complete so many lights in one day (as you had to) and was half way though the circuit when Ewan came down from his writing and insisted that Peggy and I listen to what he had written so far and make comments
As we sat and listened it began to grow dark so that in the end I had to finish the circuit with the aid of a torch

Good to hear of Jim Carroll throwing light on a subject - in more sesnses that one.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The First Time (Ever) - MacColl
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 24 Mar 18 - 01:18 PM

Yes he wrote many classic songs, and has a claim to rank alongside the greatest British songwriters (e.g. Lennon and McCartney, Bowie, Noel Coward). Disgracefully he doesn't even feature in the Telegraph's top 50.


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