Black Is the Color

DESCRIPTION: "(Black, black,) black is the color of my true love's hair...." The singer describes the beautiful girl he is in love with. (He regretfully concedes that they will never be married)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (Cecil Sharp collection)
KEYWORDS: love courting hair beauty separation nonballad
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE,So)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Lomax-FSUSA 16, "Black Is the Color" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax- FSNA 100, "Black Is the Color" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-Southern, p. 88, "Black is the Color" (1 text, 1 tune, with several floating lines including some that appear to be from "Lady Mary Anne" or something related)
SharpAp 85, "Black is the Colour" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 41, "Black is the Colour" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 267-268, "Black is the Color" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 145, "Black Is The Color" (1 text)
DT, BLACKCOL* BLACKCO2*

Roud #3103
RECORDINGS:
Pete Seeger, "Black is the Color" (on PeteSeeger18)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair
NOTES: John Jacob Niles, who is largely responsible for popularizing this song, also claims to have written it. For a recently composed song, however, it exists in unusually diverse and widespread forms. Randolph notes connections with English pieces, and Lomax correctly observes that the tune resembles "Fair and Tender Ladies." - RBW
File: LxU016

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