World music classics #12


Where Did You Sleep Last Night  (1870s) – traditional

I wanted to let you hear the version that made this song popular to me, by my favourite Charlie Feathers (who recorded it on the French label New Rose Records in the late 1980s), but it’s not available on Youtube. The clip above mixes between Lead Belly (who made it popular in 1944) and Nirvana (who made it popular in the late 20th century). The lyrics are difficult to grasp: a girl is unfaithful, a man is decapitated, his body never found.

From Youtube:

“Cobain started to love leadbelly after the words of his biggest hero William S. Burroughs :
(Kurt Cobain’s words) “I remember him saying in an interview, “These new rock’n’roll kids should just throw away their guitars and listen to something with real soul, like Lead Belly.””

See previous entries in this series.

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