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,
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.
Hops over me...