Odetta, "She Moved Through the Fair" from One Grain of Sand (1963)





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Uploaded on Dec 22, 2008

Odetta Holmes, (December 31, 1930 December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an African-American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a human rights activist whose career spanned some 64 years. She was an extraordinary woman.

This song is from Odetta's early folk music period. It has sentimental value for me as well, as my first date with my husband was to hear her live at a folk club!

This song, "She Moved Through the Fair," has several versions. It is a traditional Irish folk song. Its original author is unknown, but the published lyrics were adapted (or mostly written?) by Padraic Colum.

There have been other excellent renditions of this song, Sinéad O'Connor's and Loreena McKennitt's come to mind, but this was recorded 45 years ago!


My own love said to me
My mother won't mind
And my Father won't slight you
For your lack of kind
Then she stepped away from me
And this she did say
It will not be long, love
Till our wedding day.

He stepped away from me

And he moved through the Faie
And fondly I watched him

Move here and move there

She went he turned homeward

With one star awake

As the swans in the evening

Move over the lake.

The people were saying

No two e'er were wed

But one has a sorrow

That never was said

And she smiled as she passed me

With her goods and her geae
rAnd that was the last

That I saw of my dear.

I dreamed it last night
That my true love came in

So softly she entered

Her feet made no din

She came close beside me

And this she did say

It will not be long, love

Till our wedding day.

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