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 (see NOTES)
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (Cecil Sharp collection)
KEYWORDS: love courting hair beauty separation nonballad
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Lomax/Lomax-FolkSongUSA 16, "Black Is the Color" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax- FSNA 100, "Black Is the Color" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, 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)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 85, "Black is the Colour" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 41, "Black is the Colour" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol1, p. 107, "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 267-268, "Black is the Color" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 145, "Black Is The Color" (1 text)

Roud #3103
Dellie Norton, "Black is the Colour" (on OldTrad1, FsrMtns4)
Pete Seeger, "Black is the Color" (on PeteSeeger18)

NOTES [54 words]: 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
Last updated in version 5.1
File: LxU016

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