Saturday Songsters – Don Williams

It’s  Saturday and so time for another Saturday Songster post. This week’s track is ‘I Recall a Gypsy Woman’ by Don Williams.

Donwilliams

Don Williams is an American country music singer and songwriter from Portland, Texas, often referred to as the ‘Gentle Giant’ of country music. In 2010, after four decades of solo performance, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was at the height of his fame during the 1970s but actually continued to release new music and tour until recently. It’s only this month that, at 76 years of age, he’s announced that he’s retiring.

I first heard Don Williams’ music in the early 1990s (I would have been eleven or twelve at the time) when my mum bought several of his albums on tape, replacing the records she’d had in the ’70s. Unlike my brothers and my sister who were really not impressed by country music, I found his deep, soothing voice a delight to listen to.  When I heard the song ‘I Recall a Gypsy Woman’ I also realised that, whilst I may not have heard it sung by Don Williams, I had heard the song on many occasions – sung by my mum. It was actually one of the first songs I myself ever learnt to sing!

I Recall a Gypsy Woman

Silver coins that jingle jangle,
Fancy shoes that dance in time
Oh, the secrets of her dark eyes,
They did sing a gypsy rhyme
Yellow clover in tangled blossoms
In a meadow silky green
Where she held me to her bosom,
Just a boy of seventeen

[Chorus:]
I recall a gypsy woman
Silver spangles in her eyes
Ivory skin against the moonlight
And the taste of life’s sweet wine

Soft breezes blow from fragrant meadows
And stir the darkness in my mind
Oh, gentle woman you sleep beside me
Little know who haunts my mind
Gypsy lady, I hear your laughter
And it dances in my head
While my tender wife and babies
Slumber softly in their beds

[Chorus:]
I recall a gypsy woman
Silver spangles in her eyes
Ivory skin against the moonlight
And the taste of life’s sweet wine…

Lyrics from azlyrics

If you’d like to know more about Don Williams or would like to check out more of his music, you can visit his website here or his Wikipedia page here.

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Saturday Songsters #1 – Hozier

This is the first of a new series of posts I’ll be calling ‘Saturday Songsters’ where I share a music video and the lyrics of a song that I particularly like. I’ve always adored music and listen to it whenever I can. Many people over the years have called my taste a little strange but I prefer to think of it as eclectic! If a song makes me think or if it inspires me to write, then I like it, no matter what genre of music it falls within or when it was made.

It took quite a long time for me to decide which song to use to start off this series but I eventually settled on Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’, possibly one of the most current songs in my music library and one that definitely makes you think. It’s a track that has topped the charts in 12 countries, been nominated for the Grammy’s Song of the Year and has recently won the BBC Music Award’s Song of the Year. It deals with the issues of sexuality and religion. The video depicts two men in a homosexual relationship and the homophobic backlash they find themselves facing.

Take Me To Church

My lover’s got humour
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshipped her sooner

If the heavens ever did speak
She’s the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week

“We were born sick,” you heard them say it

My church offers no absolutes
She tells me, “Worship in the bedroom.”
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you

I was born sick
But I love it
Command me to be well
Aaay. Amen. Amen. Amen.

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice

Drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine-looking high horse
What you got in the stable?
We’ve a lot of starving faithful

That looks tasty
That looks plenty
This is hungry work

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me my deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

No Masters or Kings
When the Ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Ooh oh. Amen. Amen. Amen.

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Lyrics from AZLyrics

To finish off I thought I’d leave you with a excerpt from an interview with Hozier from the NYMag:

Sexuality, and sexual orientation — regardless of orientation — is just natural. An act of sex is one of the most human things. But an organization like the church, say, through its doctrine, would undermine humanity by successfully teaching shame about sexual orientation — that it is sinful, or that it offends God. The song is about asserting yourself and reclaiming your humanity through an act of love.