She Moves Through the Fair: Odetta″

Odetta, “She Moved Though the Fair” (1963). Youtube.

Odetta Holmes (1930-2008) was a classically trained singer who became a key figure in the American Folk Revival of the 1950s and 60s. She brings a welcome outside perspective to the song, infusing it with American blues-folk. Her classical training tells in the way that she sustains the long, slow notes. It’s very much a vocal-led interpretation, with an acoustic guitar in the background.

Odetta sings a fairly standard variant on Colum’s lyrics, albeit with a gender change (the brothers are absent, hands get laid on but her own love is both like and as the swan). She sings verses 1, 2 and 4, and starts by calling him My own love in the first verse, but he is My young love when he comes in in the last verse (no dreaming, and no ghosts).

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