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Black is the Color - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

I''ve classified 'Black is the Color' (with apologies for the spelling of 'colour' to my fellow Brits) as Scottish, but actually its origin is quite hard to pin down. My main reason for classifying it as Scottish is the reference in the lyrics to the river Clyde, which flows through Glasgow. However, ''folkologists'' point out that many of the words may have been drawn from traditional English folk songs. Moreover, the song seems to have emerged into the folk community''s collective consciousness by way of the Appalachian mountains of the United States, where it was popularised by John Jacob Niles, who, it seems, came up with the tune that is most commonly sung today. There is a detailed discussion of the song's origin here.

The wonderful version in the You Tube video is sung by Christy Moore. The song has been recorded many times, including by The Corrs and Burl Ives and there is a jazz version by Nina Simone.

song - Black is the Color - on iTunes

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Chords

Capo at 1st Fret

 

Am               F           G                                 Am
Black is the colour       of my true love's hair.

                     F               G        E7              
Her lips are like some roses fair.

                                  F                      G             E7
She's the sweetest smile and the gentlest hands.


                  F            G                         Am

I love the ground     where on she stands.





Am            F        G                 Am
I love my love   -   well she knows.

                  F                        G          E7              
I love the ground where on she goes.

                   F        G                   E7
I wish the day it soon would come

                          F   G                      Am

When she and I       could be as one.





Am              F          G                              Am
I go to the Clyde       and mourn and weep

 
        F        G               E7              
Satisfied I never can be.

                       F                    G               E7
I write her a letter, just a few short lines

                    F         G                      Am

And suffer death      a thousand times.





      
Am               F           G                                 Am
For Black is the colour       of my true love's hair.

                     F               G        E7              
Her lips are like some roses fair.

                                  F                      G             E7
She's the sweetest smile and the gentlest hands.


                  F            G                         Am

I love the ground     where on she stands.

 

Lyrics

Black is the colour of my true love's hair.
Her lips are like some roses fair.
She''s the sweetest smile and the gentlest hands.
I love the ground where on she stands.

I love my love - well she knows.
I love the ground where on she goes.
I wish the day it soon would come
when she and I could be as one.

I go to the Clyde and mourn and weep
Satisfied I never can be.
I write her a letter, just a few short lines
And suffer death a thousand times.

For black is the colour of my true love's hair.
Her lips are like a rose so fair.
She hast the sweetest smile and the gentlest hands.
I love the ground where on she stands.

Other Scottish Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs