View Full Version : Black is the Colour of my True Love's Hair

10-24-2011, 12:06 PM
A traditional song which probably originated in the British Isles but was collected by Cecil Sharp in the Appalachians in 1916.

As well as a ukulele accompaniment, I use a shruti box to give a drone accompaniment in the background.

The video is of pictures of the area where I live in North Yorkshire and were taken last winter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykXXnLaHOfY <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ykXXnLaHOfY?hl=en&fs=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I have put this on You Tube previously but I was not happy with it, so I recorded it again and added the video rather than just have a view of me playing ukulele.

Hippie Dribble
10-24-2011, 12:11 PM
this is one of my favorite traditional songs. My fondest memories are of Christy Moore's version which sends shivers up my spine. Very nicely played and faithful rendition Geoff, and beautiful video mate. Thanks for this, you really have a great voice for this music...

10-24-2011, 01:40 PM
Nice recording and video! I really like the tone of the drone - I'll have to investigate the shruti box - something I've never heard of. Very nice rendition of a great tune....

10-24-2011, 01:50 PM
Love that song too. English and Irish folk music is a big part of our culture here. Nice job and nice photos!

10-26-2011, 07:21 AM
Thanks for your kind comments all of you.

@23 skiddoo: I have a demo of the shruti box on You Tube here (http://youtu.be/JO_mbsyWODg). It's a "stripped down" form of the Indian Harmonium. The one I have is made here in the UK but Indian ones are quite readily available, though be careful to get one tuned to the standard Western scale. Mine covers a chromatic octave from G to G' so you can set a drone to any key you like.

I use it on a few songs on my You Tube Channel. Check Van Dieman's Land (http://youtu.be/Tt4GWdAvVKs) or The Unquiet Grave (http://youtu.be/cLSZwMNWIJk)

@eugene Ukulele. Although it seems fairly certain that Black is the Colour originated in the British Isles, it has only ever been collected North America. It seems that it disappeared from the oral tradition over here.

10-26-2011, 09:28 AM
Interesting stuff, Geoff, thanks for the links - especially liked 'The Unquiet Grave'..... a friend let me borrow an accordion this week and I've found myself experimenting with different harmonic drones - such a compelling, open sound.... thanks for the information....