Black is the colour is one of the best known folk ballads in The Celtic Isles, being covered by many notable artists, some of whom are shown here. Amazingly, no one knows who wrote it. It apparently came over to the USA from Scotland during the massive wave of migrations that took place during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was then adopted by the new people of the Americas who changed the lyrics slightly and reminded the Scots of just how good the ballad is.
Rhiannon Giddens is one of the most beautiful vocalists around. She can also play guitar, banjo and fiddle. She is one impressive lady. Here she presents her version of this haunting ballad. It’s followed by a number of other versions. Rebel Voice wonders which will be your favourite?
Here is the better known version from the County Derry nightingale, Cara Dillon.
Next we have the inimitable Nina Simone covering this beautiful ballad. She has a haunting and remarkable voice.
And just to show that Rebel Voice is not entirely sexist, here we have our first male performer, Hamish Imlach as he does a jaunty acoustic rendition. Rebel Voice especially appreciates this type of performance. There’s nowhere for the artist to hide. Brave and beautiful although Imlach’s comments upon the Scots are not appreciated. Rebel Voice would tell you that he has a large chip on his shoulder except for the fact that the sweaty ba***rd would probably have eaten it. He has a fine voice though.
And finally, we finish with an astounding performance by the musical genius that is Paul Weller, famous from his days with both The Jam and The Style Council. It’s fantastic to hear such a popular musician taking on such an old ballad. He lends a new sound to it. Enjoy!