Not THAT highwayman, the other one
January 11, 2010 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Yet another song question. I'm batting zero.

Asking for this same friend. I told him how awesome I am at finding things on the web, and so he’s issued these challenges to me, and I’m looking a little foolish right now. But I shall never say die.

Okay, so this is a folk-rock song that came out in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Female singer – soprano. The song is about a highwayman or a soldier, riding off into the night with his lover. Friend says one of the lines was "...he wears a blade at his side/wears the curve of my body as we go (?) into the night..." Also, the words “green grass” were repeated again and again.

This is not the song about Bess, the landlord’s daughter. It is not “The Highwayman” by Johnny Cash or Stevie Nicks. It is not “Husky Dusky Day”. I have done innumerable Google searches, and I’ve got to tell you, it won’t help. I’m just hoping one of you guys is actually familiar with the song, because I don’t think it can be found on-line.

And no, I do not know where he heard it. I'm waiting to hear back from him on that.

posted by Evangeline to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sure sounds like "The Highwayman" by Loreena McKennitt, but there's no mention of grass in that one. But definitely folk-rock, soprano, and the time period is close. Anyway, something to check if you haven't already.
posted by Spyder's Game at 10:55 AM on January 11, 2010

Response by poster: He knows the Loreena McKennitt song. It's not the McKennitt song. The lovers manage to escape in this song.

Just told me he heard it on college radio, not that that really helps.
posted by Evangeline at 11:52 AM on January 11, 2010

Response by poster: To clarify, there's a poem called "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. It has been covered by Loreena McKennitt and others. It's the one with Bess, the landlord's daughter who shoots herself to warn her lover that he's riding into an ambush. This is not the correct poem/song.
posted by Evangeline at 12:03 PM on January 11, 2010

Do you know which college radio station?
posted by triggerfinger at 12:08 PM on January 11, 2010

Response by poster: Probably Georgia Tech. I'm doubting they're going to have play lists from 1989 or so, though.
posted by Evangeline at 12:15 PM on January 11, 2010

Green Grass of Home?????
posted by sneakyalien at 1:04 PM on January 11, 2010

Response by poster: Other than the mention of "green grass," there's really nothing in common with the song he's looking for, I think.

A little more information: song has an upbeat tempo and a Celtic vibe.
posted by Evangeline at 1:10 PM on January 11, 2010

I can't tink of any version with female vocals off the top of my head, but the thematics you describe reak of Fiddler's Green. Any chance this could have been a cover of a trad song?
posted by WeekendJen at 1:18 PM on January 11, 2010

Response by poster: Given his description, I'm almost certain it's a cover of a traditional song. I've looked at Tragically Hip's version of "Fiddler's Green," and a couple of other songs that reference it, and they don't look right. No element of romance.
posted by Evangeline at 1:24 PM on January 11, 2010

Best answer: I spent $5 just to log on and answer the question, because this was the only unidentified song in my whole music collection, save one entirely in Japanese. And this thread was the only hit for the lyrics on the whole of Google.

Eventually I figured out which mix cd it had come in on, and the person who gave it to me told me who had made the mix, and that person told me who they had gotten the mp3 from, and _that_ person finally identified it. So several weeks later:

It's Ceallaigh Green by Cindy Lee Berryhill.
posted by tavella at 3:27 PM on June 26, 2010 [62 favorites]

Response by poster: God bless you!
posted by Evangeline at 8:25 PM on June 26, 2010

Hey, that's a good song!
posted by cmoj at 6:28 PM on June 27, 2010

Heading off on a tangent here ...

Do you know which college radio station?

Probably Georgia Tech. I'm doubting they're going to have play lists from 1989 or so, though.

That's WREK. They transitioned from a paper-based system to a computer-based system in 2001-2002, and in fact do have playlists back to 2002. Further, they've been internally keeping track of their programmed music in a database since the late 80's, and put that online at some point too. Here's a search for Berryhill showing a 1994 album.

That playlist system only covers "regular" programming though. They have (fantastic) specialty shows in the evening, so, for example, this song might have been played on a weekly anti-folk or country themed show at the time.

posted by intermod at 5:10 AM on June 28, 2010 [3 favorites]

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