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Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour

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


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Black Is the Colour (A Marital Dirge) (1)
(DTStudy) Origin: Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair (95)
Black is the Color of My True Love's Eye (34)
Irish pronunciation 'Black is the Color' (21)
Black is the color (30)
Lyr Req: Black is the Colour (8)
Chords: Black is the colour (8)
Tune Req: Black Is the Colour of My True Love's... (21)
Lyr Req: Black is the Colour as Gaeilge? (8)
Help: Copyright: Black is the Colour (11)
Tune Req:Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair (5)
Lyr Add: Parody-Black Is The Colour (7)
Help: 'Black is the color' verse question... (16)


dulcimer 09 Oct 02 - 07:27 PM
Sorcha 09 Oct 02 - 07:30 PM
Noreen 09 Oct 02 - 07:54 PM
Noreen 09 Oct 02 - 08:10 PM
Mr Happy 09 Oct 02 - 08:20 PM
Snuffy 09 Oct 02 - 08:23 PM
Leadfingers 09 Oct 02 - 08:26 PM
Sorcha 09 Oct 02 - 08:42 PM
dulcimer 09 Oct 02 - 08:45 PM
Brían 09 Oct 02 - 10:18 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Aug 09 - 12:50 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Aug 09 - 01:07 AM
Paul Burke 28 Aug 09 - 01:45 AM
skarpi 28 Aug 09 - 05:39 AM
Jack Campin 28 Aug 09 - 05:55 AM
skarpi 28 Aug 09 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Aug 09 - 11:02 AM
Jack Campin 28 Aug 09 - 11:28 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Aug 09 - 11:38 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Aug 09 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Aug 09 - 11:48 AM
Jack Campin 28 Aug 09 - 12:19 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Aug 09 - 12:35 PM
Jack Campin 28 Aug 09 - 12:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Aug 09 - 01:34 PM
Joe Offer 28 Aug 09 - 02:20 PM
Jack Campin 28 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM
Joe Offer 28 Aug 09 - 03:35 PM
Jack Campin 28 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM
Joe Offer 30 Aug 09 - 02:08 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 30 Aug 09 - 05:59 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 30 Aug 09 - 06:08 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Aug 09 - 08:38 AM
Jack Campin 30 Aug 09 - 09:18 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Aug 09 - 08:39 PM
Mr Happy 04 Sep 09 - 10:18 AM
Tattie Bogle 04 Sep 09 - 04:58 PM
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Subject: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: dulcimer
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 07:27 PM

Have I missed it and someone has already posted it or has it not been asked for? But the Irish version tune of Black is the Colour is not the same as in the DT. The DT version seems to be the popular American tune. Does any have to midi or ABC for the Irish version?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 07:30 PM

Is this the right tune? (http://www.ireland-information.com/irishmusic/blackisthecolour.shtml)
You need to click on "Hear" or something......

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 07:54 PM

Sorry Sorch, but that is the most horrible interpretation of a beautiful tune- someone has their accidentals mixed up methinks.

If I knew which tune you meant by the Irish version tune of Black is the Colour, dulcimer, I'd try and help you out- you don't mean Sean ac Donncha's tune do you?
(Look up Black is the colo(u)r in the Forum Search and you'll find that it's not a simple question.)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 08:10 PM

Oops, that MIDI linked to by Sorcha appears to be the same as BLACKCO2, the tune in the DT to BLACK IS THE COLOUR (2). If that is an accurate transcription I apologise, but it's like nothing I've ever heard sung.

(The other tune, TUNE FILE: BLACKCOL with BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY TRUE LOVE'S HAIR in the DT is the 'arrangement' by John Jacob Niles)

I could do the tune I know to go with the words I posted, if it's nowhere else to be found.



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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 08:20 PM

what's 'irish black'? is it like magnolia?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 08:23 PM

more like Guinness


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 08:26 PM

Black is the Colour was 'collected' by Christie Moore from Alex
Atterson,and duly (and rightly)credited as such on a live concert
recording.This would seem to be where the Irish got this particuar
song from, tho I do not state this as gospel.
The Irish seem to be even better than me at stealing songs (Dirty Old Town etc)simply because
some excellent Irish singer or group has recorded them.Be careful of
what is described as 'Irish'.Incidentally.Alex Atterson (the late
great) was a Scot who played some nice Jazz piano on occasions,and
called the song traditional.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 08:42 PM

Sorry, I did mention I didn't listen.
(Irish "black" is "dubh" or some such.
Never heard the tune in question, just the US regular.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: dulcimer
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 08:45 PM

Sorry, I guess I just listen to a lot of traditional Irish music and have heard it there. I have a version of Willie Clancy on whistle, but have heard similar version, with and without words. Didn't mean to say it was Irish alone or in origin. Could very well be as you say Leadfingers. Thanks for the info.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Brían
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 10:18 PM

The origin of the song is not Irish, but the version Noreen mentioned predates the Christy Moore version.

Brían


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 12:50 AM

To revive this thread: the well-known John Jacob Niles reworking of Black Is The Colour is of an Appalachian song in Sharp's collection, collected from Mrs Lizzie Roberts at Hot Springs, NC, published in Volume II [1921] of his "Folk-Songs of English Origin collected in the Appalachian Mountains". It was the words that Niles reworked: Mrs Roberts's tune was quite different, with none of Niles's rather embarrassingly 'poetic' repetitions of "Black" &c. It can be found on page 64 of Faber's misleadingly titled but very useful paperback compilation, "Eighty English Folk Songs", ed Maud Karpeles (1968, but still in print - I think!).


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 01:07 AM

... It's also, I find, checking back, version 2 on DT. Much to be preferred IMO to the somewhat pretentious & overblown Niles reworking.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Paul Burke
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 01:45 AM

I remember Peter Bellamy telling a story about this tune many years ago (he played whistle too)- that it was collected by the Lomaxes in the USA, published on a record that Willy Clancy heard, he took up the tune, someone else recorded from him, and so it passed into Irish "tradition"- which it really is. That's probably the way "tradition" always worked. You can add this story about it, with probable inaccuracies, to the tradition if you want- like the stories about hearing a tune whist sleeping on a fairy mound, or sitting on a bank of turf to listen to the larks. I have evidence indeed that there wasn't a bank of turf to be found the length and breadth of all Ireland in traditional times, they'd all been etten by famine victims.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: skarpi
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 05:39 AM

here is the song , I sing this its a good song .

Black is the Colour
Alex Atterson
Capo step 1

Am            F          G          Am
Black is the colour of my true love's hair.
       F             G    E7
Her lips are like some roses fair
             F                   G       E7
She has the sweetest smile and the gentlest hands
       F       G                  Am
And I love the ground whereon she stands.

I love my love and well she knows
I love the ground whereon she goes
I wish the day it soon would come
When she and I could be as one

I go to the Clyde and I mourn and weep
For satisfied I ne'er can be
I write her a letter just a few short lines
And suffer death a thousand times

Black is the colour of my true love's hair.
Her lips are like some roses fair
She had the sweetest smile and the gentlest hands
And I love the ground whereon she stands.

I played this song last night , and I had a great people
to listen , and they liked it very much .
Now the lyric may be a little diffrent from some other versions .

kv Skarpi Iceland .


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 05:55 AM

The story I've heard about this "Irish" version is that it was created accidentally by Hamish Imlach when he attempted to sing the Niles version and forgot it.

I find it utterly repulsive, but then I have next to no time for anything Imlach did.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: skarpi
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 06:50 AM

you may have to move the chords a little so it will be right when you play it .
kv Skarpi


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 11:02 AM

Dear Joe Offer,

Do you bribe people to make remarks like 'utterly repulsive'

'horrible interpretation of a beautiful tune'

'someone has their accidentals mixed up methinks' ?

...because remarks like that arouse the underdog in me and cause me to listen to the tune, download it, and see what's up.

The song doesn't even have any accidentals. It's in the key of G. Period. However, it does start and end in odd places. Starts on the note A, ends on the note D. This seems like a perfectly natural thing for a slow air.

Another thing that makes it seem ugly is the MIDI piano, which is one of the coldest sounds in the repertoire.

I believe the timing of the MIDI in the DT is off. I know from years of working with music files that getting the timing of a piece off a recording can be very hard. I tried to fix it, but it's still hinky. The tune just doesn't seem to fall into measures. (I've spent all the time on that that I'm going to.)

Let's see if Joe can post the new MIDI. In my opinion, the tune is not thrilling, but it's nice. Also makes an interesting companion to the tune Niles collected.

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 11:28 AM

Imlach's version

At least the MIDI file, bum notes and all, doesn't have that voice in it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 11:38 AM

leenia - the horrible... and ..accidentals mixed up... quotes were made (many years ago!) with reference to the Irish web-site version, which is the version Sharpe collected in the Appalachians, referred to by MtheGM above (When I do a default import the midi into Finale it comes out almost the same as the book version, except in 3/4 rather than 3/2 and with a triplet in the book incorrectly realised - either in the midi or the import. I haven't compared the DT versions, just that one). The tune there (English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians) is given in D and is a hexatonic tune, missing the 4th (ie no G) and has the 7th (C) sometimes natural and sometimes sharp, the scale being D E F# A B C/C#, so Noreen wasn't totally off saying the accidentals were mixed up!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 11:43 AM

And I don't think Niles ever 'collected' the tune; what he did was REWORK it - IMO somewhat pretentiously and ostentatiously; but I freely admit this is but a personal preference I am expressing.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 11:48 AM

If you download a MIDI in the key of D and every single C in it is marked with a natural sign, then the MIDI was in G. That's my theory, anyway.

etc etc etc


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 12:19 PM

In G, but with not a single G in the tune?

Here's the Sharp/Karpeles tune in ABC:


X:0
T:Black is the Colour
S:Sharp & Karpeles, 80 English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians
N:they mark an editorial sharp on the last C, which to me sounds just as weird as the original
M:3/2
L:1/4
Q:1/2=60 % my guess - JC
K:DMix
A A D/D/| F>F A F D C|D3
A A c   | d2 c2 (3edc|A3
A A c   | d2 c c e d|A2
A2 A D   |(F2 A) F D C|D3|]


Its mode is extraordinary (mode 5 of the ascending half of the Japanese in-sen scale!) - it's the only example of that I've ever seen from anywhere and I can't think what to compare it with or imagine where it came from.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 12:35 PM

That's interesting Jack. In the English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians it's notated slightly differently. The Cs in bars 2 and 8 are both sharp in the version there (otherwise it's identical). Perhaps they thought mixing C# and Cnat was too difficult for the school version.

leeneia (sorry for earlier careless spelling) - as Jack say's there's no G in the midi on the Irish site. The tonality is clearly D, though with the 7th varying - there are both C and C# in the midi.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 12:54 PM

Oops. I'd missed that C# in bar 2.

Doesn't make the mode any more familiar.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 01:34 PM

Why did the swain go to mourn and weep?
No mention that the black-haired wonder has died or taken another lover.
Perhaps she dyed her hair straw-blonde.

Dull, dull, dull!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 02:20 PM

Hi, Jack-
I don't know ABC notation very well, and I can't figure out what you missed. Can you post a corrected version?
-Joe-
Now, here is the MIDI Leeneia submitted, which she hopes is somewhat less than "utterly repulsive."

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 02:39 PM


X:0
T:Black is the Colour
S:Sharp & Karpeles, 80 English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians
N:they bracket the sharp on the last C as editorial
M:3/2
L:1/4
Q:1/2=60 % my guess - JC
K:DMix
A A D/D/| F>F A F D ^C|D3
A A c   | d2 c2 (3edc |A3
A A c   | d2 c c e d|A2
A2 A D   |(F2 A) F D ^C|D3|]


Utterly weird. Anybody with access to the full Sharp Appalachian collection want to look through it and see if that singer's other stuff was similarly off the wall?
To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM

Jack - I've just been through my copy the Roud index for her and there are two more in the Appalachian book - The Lover's Lament - Edor and The Two Brothers in G (hexatonic - no 4th). The index also lists 2 other songs in the Sharpe mss - The Bloody Warning and Off To The War, but I've no way of telling what the tunes were.

(btw. I have the book, but if you're interested I think the Appalachian book is available as pdf/djvu either on Google books or Archive.org)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 03:35 PM

That's exactly what I get, Jack - I transcribed my MIDI from Dear Companion: Appalachian Traditional Songs and Singers from the Cecil Sharp Collection (p.95)

Here's my transcription from Sharp:

Click to play




The DT MIDI is almost the same, but it has two sharps in the key signature and a different time signature, so that makes the enharmonic spelling quite different:

X:1
T:Black Is the Colour (2)
M:3/4
Q:1/4=100
K:D
A2A2DD|F3FA2|F2D2C2|D6|
A2A2=c2|d4=c2|-=c2e5/4d3/2=c5/4|A6|
A2A2=c2|d4=c2|=c2e2d2|A4
A2|-A2A2D2|F4A2|F2D2C2|D6||

http://www.concertina.net/tunes_detail.html?action=convert


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM

That looks like something that's been auto-converted from MIDI. No ABC processor would be able to display it as staff notation.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 02:08 AM

You guessed right there, Jack. The original Digital Tradition tune was entered in SongWright, and then automatically converted to a MIDI, and then automatically converted to ABC notation. It you paste it into Concertina.net, it displays the notation with two sharps and rather strange enharmonic spelling.

A Digital Tradition Mirror called Yet Another Digigal Tradition, converts the tunes directly from SongWright to various forms of notation - here (click). The ABC it produces is really, really bad.
I take it that this sort of tune is just too difficult for many notation programs to handle.

I'd like to hear the original singer, so I'd know how close Shar's notation is to the original source.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 05:59 AM

Joe

Here's my automatic conversion of the DT file to abc. It's better than the YADT version. (Though the one thing I didn't do was reduce the default note value to it's best value. I start with 1/32 and keep it there. Someday I'll go back and fix that. And I ought to set up proper default note groupings!). This was done with a Java converter based on one I originally did in VB in MS Access when I did a full conversion of the 2002 DT for the late John In Brisbane.

Mick



N:From Sharp, English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians
X:1
% File Generated from SongWright BLACKCO2.txt by Mick Pearce
T:Black is the Colour
M:3/2
L:1/32
Q:1/2=100
K:D treble
V:1
K:D treble
A8A8D4D4|F12F4A8F8D8C8|D24A8A8=c8|d16=c16((3e8d8)c8|A24A8A8=c8|d16=c8c8|
w:But black is the co- lour of my true love's hair, His face is like some ro-_ sy fair; The pret- tiest face and the
e8d8|A16A16A8D8|(F16A8)F8D8C8|D24||
w:nea- test hands I love the ground_ where- on he stands.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 06:08 AM

Just a bit more. The abc generated by YADT looks as if it's generated by a version of sw2abc, which was a very old awk script to the conversion from SongWright. It was relatively short and the later version did handle multiple voices, but it never handled synchronised lyrics (they probably weren't in abc when it was first written, and I'm not sure if they could be done anyway) and as you'll have noted, tuplets come out with decimal note lengths.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 08:38 AM

The midi sounds realy weird to me, especially the first line: mainly because of the sharpened notes. The tune I know is pretty much as per the link given to Hamish Imlach's version, and Cara Dillon sings it to the same tune.
In D(MODAL) it would be
AA D F(nat).........EF G E D..........
AAC(nat)D........C EDC A..........
AAC D..........C EDC A.........
AAD F.........EFG E D........
SO NO SHARPS AT ALL, or in piano terms, not a black note in sight!
Sorry I don't do midis, but maybe someone can from that.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 09:18 AM

Tattie Bogle, are you trying to transcribe Imlach's version, or something else?

(There is no such thing as "D modal", you mean dorian/minor hexatonic, it seems).


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 08:39 PM

Ok D Dorian Jack.
Here's Cara Dillon's version, which you probably won't like either. (Basically the same tune as Hamish's version)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97hp3adHaEk&feature=related

And yet another version with some differences in the tune:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdUhp6NfXjg&feature=PlayList&p=827A968E14F1311B&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=47

That leaves just another 228 versions on Youtube to peruse!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 10:18 AM

What shade of black is 'Irish Black'?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Irish Black is the Colour
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 04:58 PM

Guinness?


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