Sunday, July 18, 2010

shakes just like a willow tree


Now, for a completely different willow song from last week's offering in my Summer Wicked Willowy Song Series. "The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair", also known as "The Girl I Love", is a song performed by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded by the BBC on June 16, 1969 for Chris Grant's Tasty Pop Sundae show during the band's U.K. Tour of Summer 1969, being broadcast on June 22, 1969. The song eventually found its way onto the Led Zeppelin album BBC Sessions, released in 1997. This is the only known performance of the song by the band, as no other audio document has been unearthed of it being performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts.

The guitar riff played by Jimmy Page that drives this song is similar to Bobby Parker's 1961 song "Watch Your Step" which charted in the US and the UK. It is also very similar to that played by Page on the later Led Zeppelin track "Moby Dick", released in October 1969 on the album Led Zeppelin II.

It's interesting to note the lyrics in the first verse are a variation on the1929 blues song "The Girl I Love She Got Long Curly Hair" by Sleepy John Estes. The lyrics in the rest of the song are paraphrases of various blues songs or themes.



Whoah, the girl I love, she got long black wavy hair
I do declare!
The girl I love, yeah, she got long black wavy hair,
Ah yeah,
Her mother and her father, lordy,
They sure don't, sure don't allow me there.

Well I, I'm goin' back to my baby, lord I,
I swear I wouldn't lie, yeah
I never saw that sweet woman yeah in-a
A-five long years gone by, yeah.
Well I'm goin' home, I'm goin' home
'cause she's a sweet little darlin', ah
I said I been away, ahh-far too long,
I been away too long.

Take it jimmy!

Well, my baby when...
She shakes just like a willow tree,
Yes she does.
My baby, when she walks, ya know
She shakes like a willow tree, yeah.
Ah-that mean, mistreatin' baby she know she
Hop, hops all over me.
Oooh.

Yeah!
Alright!
Hops over me...

36 comments:

  1. Led Zeppelin ~
    enough said.
    love.

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  2. ahhh willow - early led zep like the stones like so many other brit bands from the late sixties awash in the blues . . . such a good tune! steven

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  3. So fascinating to remember how all those British boy bands loved their blues music and sort of gave some of those old tunes a whole new life! I personally adore Dusty Springfield and she was so inspired by soul music. And who says the Brits are so stiff upper lip? Well, of course some of them are, but good songs are good songs, and deep feelings are nobody'
    s prerogative, and neither are the saucy blues lyrics. Love this Willow song! Good one!

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  4. Sleepy John Estes, wow, there's a blast from the past. The first real concert I ever saw, when I was in high school, was Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King.

    While I love Brit blues, I don't really like Led Zeppelin, tbh. I like the music but i find the words misogynistic. I do like a couple of songs though. One that goes:

    "I've got a bird that whistles, and I've got a bird that sings/ I've got a bird don't do nothin' but buy diamond rings"

    and one that goes:

    "Hey lady, got the love I need. And maybe, more than enough. Oh darlin' darlin', walk a mile with me"...and i can't remember the rest.

    I think my favorite Brit blues band was Cream, with their American black blues inspirations, and the trippy lyrics written by poet Peter Brown.

    Anyway, I'll hush. I love your blog and I hope you'll come visit mine again. :-)

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  5. LZ were great; but not really my cup of tea. Like Fireblossom I prefered Cream. The late 60's produced so many Art College bands that it's difficult to know where to begin.

    Good to hear that one. A rare beast!

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  6. LZ sings the blues ... fascinating!

    A wonderful Sunday to you!

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  7. We saw Page and Plant in July, 1995, playing to a small audience of about 1000. They opened up with Whole Lotta Love and then just drove through the set, with an Egyptian Ensemble tagging along. Heaven, although we were all deaf for about two hours after.

    This is a great track, and really deserves a hearing. Thanks Willow.

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  8. This is a bit off the point, but I have to say that Willow Manor looks wonderful. (Robert Plant lives here in Bath, BTW)

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  9. excellent...love zeppelin...think i may have a bootleg or two with that song on it..

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  10. all Hail the Mighty (& curly-haired )Zep!

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  11. Ooooh! Love both Led Zep and Sleepy John Estes! What a great way to start the day.

    Fireblossom, most Blues tunes, especially the early ones, are extremely misogynistic. Howlin' Wolf is certainly a good example, as is Muddy Waters. And the early Delta blues players, if you believed their songs, couldn't trust a woman as far as they could throw her. Even BB King in "How Blue Can You Get" sees his woman as a grasping, self-centered witch. If you're gonna listen to the Blues, at least the Blues sung by men, you're gonna hear a lot of misogyny.

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  12. Didn't see this one coming, that's for sure. Not a fan, but reading the back story and having the lyrics there (otherwise I wouldn't know what he was saying) made a difference. I can hear the blues in it now - wouldn't have before.

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  13. Lots of interesting conversation going on here....just talk amongst yourselves, while I pour you something tall and cool.

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  14. Thanks, Tom. WM is a cedar and limestone French country style house built in 1927, on four acres. A ramshackle old money pit, actually. We've lived here 22 years and have loved every minute of it.

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  15. I thought I knew so much about music and bands and since I have been blogging I have been learning so much. LZ was part of my growing up years.

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  16. Willow--Thanks for the music today. And, the history behind it too. I don't take the time to do the research about many of the songs I like or the artists either. I guess that's what all the blogs are for, at least for me. I find it interesting to go to someone's blog and get a lesson, so-to-speak. I say, you are never too old to learn. To me, there really isn't anything like the 60's...the music or the era. Having grown up in the SF Bay Area, we saw lots of bands during that time, saw the riots at Berkeley, the Haight-Ashbury scene, etc. It changes you forever I think. Ah, nostalgia! Love WM btw!!! 22 years is a long time to live anywhere. We have been here now 37. Talk about spending money!!! But, wouldn't trade it for something modern (except maybe a loft in SF!)

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  17. That's a great song. There are no tunes like the old tunes. I don't listen to any new music younger than ten or fifteen years old. The old music is so much better.

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  18. John Estes! Thanks for the reminder.

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  19. Well that one sent me right back to my highschool daze...

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  20. Willow! Where ARE you??? I just noticed in your side-bar that you can hear the wonderful buzz of cicadas! How I miss that sound! There are none out here on the Pacific coast... but in the south - from whence I came - I heard them every summer. I envy you your insect "song".

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  21. AngelMay, I'm in sweltering Central Ohio. The air is heavy with humidity and that wonderful buzz of summer cicadas.

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  22. Most enjoyable. The nice thing about this series is being introduced to music and songs that seem to have passed me by. I rather like the idea of shaking like a willow tree as well - not so much shake as gracefully wave.

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  23. Alan, I never really thought of a willow tree "shakin' it up Baby" until now!

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  24. Mmm nothing like Zepp in the morning to get my day a rockin' -- thank you!

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  25. Wooooow, Led Zeppelin, excellent!!! Me like a lot!

    Thanx for nice comment on my blog, I just love them ;)

    Agneta, the swedish one

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  26. I love Sleepy John Estes--what a voice that man had! As far as the misogyny issue goes, Roy has a point; a lot of blues contains misogynistic lyrics, some disturbingly so. As someone who performs the blues, I've tried very hard to keep those sort of lyrics out of the music I play & sing. Does it mean I don't do some songs that, from a musical standpoint only, I like? Yes--I wouldn't perform Skip James' "Crow Jane" as an example. I've also been very inspired by what Rory Block does in changing blues lyrics (she's singing these same songs from a woman's perspective), & I think that's helped me to re-envision them in ways where misogyny isn't an issue.

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  27. Hi Willow,

    Wow! Had no idea there was another Seneca Lake.

    Happy Days,

    Marjorie

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  28. Wow. I like this kind of music but never hear it anymore. Any ideas?

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  29. Oh my, the Victor record brought back memories -- my parents had quite a collection of those.

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  30. gotta love Led Zepplin! Whoooa!

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  31. There is going to be huge concert in Louisville at the brand new Yum Stadium soon. It is call Hullabalooza and The Eagles, Bon Jovi, Train, Kenny Chesney and one other. Tickets are already sold out. Man you talking about big names. I am not sure what the occasion is maybe just the opening of the new stadium.
    QMM

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  33. for an interesting counter-point, you could read 'Bernice Bobs Her Hair' by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/bernice/bernice.html

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  34. This is some fine shaking... I love the comparison of a woman's walk and a willow tree - never would have thought of that, but what a compliment!

    She shakes just like a willow tree,
    Yes she does.

    My baby, when she walks, ya know
    She shakes like a willow tree, yeah.

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  35. Sweltering?!! Oh dear! You should make a trip out here to my little town. It's COOL and COOL. We have fabulous summers in the Pacific Northwest!

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  36. Amazing video..one of my favourite heavy metal band.
    SRINIVASA RAO.S,INDIA

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)