Sunday, February 19, 2006

Pack Up Your Sorrows

Richard Farina's song was popularised by Judy Collins and Joan Baez in the mid-1960s.

It was one of just two unoriginal songs on the Light Up the Fire album and Parchment (and their producer) demonstrated their ability to make it all their own, finishing with a folk club singalong and the line "We all live in a Yellow Submarine".

I had thought the band must have picked up the song from Baez or Collins, but according to the sleeve notes of the album, they first heard the song in a Liverpool folk club.

The writer of the song was just 29 when he died in 1966 in Carmel, California. More info can be found at

The dobro

According to the sleeve notes of Light Up the Fire, Keith Rycroft possessed one of just two steel dobros in Britain at the time.

A dobro is a Hawaian steel guitar which uses a chamber in the neck to create its distinctive sound. They sell for something approaching £2,000 in Britain today.

Here is a picture of one from the London Resonator Centre which claims to be Britain's only outlet for these instruments.

* Postscript 2012: I'm not convinced there's a chamber in the neck. Maybe there is in Hawaii. I think the resonator is the steel chamber in the body of the guitar. See wikipedia account here.  PF