Thursday, 24 April 2014

A common misconception

You can blame Buck for this post - if you feel you must apportion blame.  Of course, you might just feel he should be given a medal for inspiring me to ...  No, perhaps not.  Anyway, it was his post about Abba that reminded me of another popular group from way back.  And I'm going back even further than Abba, ten years further to 1964.  That's right, 50 years ago.  Half  a century.  It was back in 1964 that an Australian group, three guys and a gal, hit these shores.  They were clean cut, the boys wearing suits and ties, the girl singer wearing long dresses.  It was even possible to hear the words of the songs they sang.  They were the Seekers.  They had hits with songs like Morningtown Ride, The Carnival is Over and Georgy Girl.  Judith Durham, the singer, had a great voice.  I say "had", but I believe she still has, despite having suffered a brain tumour last year.  The group have got together again for a 50th anniversary tour and will actually be in Brighton in about three weeks' time.

I am going to post a video of Judith Durham singing Danny Boy but, before I do that, there is something I feel I should explain.  I have always assumed the song to be a traditional Irish love son - after all, the tune is known as The Londonderry Air - and I have long thought it one of the greatest of love songs, if not the very greatest  Then I heard the introduction on this video clip.  Yes, I thought, that makes sense too.  But there is a more prosaic - and probably more accurate - story of the origin of the song.  The tune is, indeed, a traditional Irish air, but the words were written only in 1910 by an Englishman, Frederic Weatherly in Bath. After his Irish-born sister-in-law Margaret in the United States sent him a copy of Londonderry Air in 1913, Weatherly modified the lyrics of Danny Boy to fit the rhyme and meter of Londonderry Air.

So now you know.  And here is Judith Durham.


The Broad said...

Beautiful rendition and moving intoduction. Thanks, BP

Buck said...

Ah, I remember The Seekers quite well; they were big on this side of the pond for a brief time. Ms. Durham has a wonderful voice and isn't hard to look at, at the same time.

Thankee for the link!