Saturday, April 12, 2008

Manic Mandolin!

You Were On My Mind was recorded by the band as a single although so far as I can recall it was never released in a general sense.

I'd never heard of it until I spotted it on e-bay a few years ago and obtained a copy. It was then, marvellously, included in the Simply...Parchment CD collection.

Quite likely, the song was recorded because in those days British pop gospel bands tended to latch on to any pop songs with vaguely Christian lyrics. However the Parchment version was anything but reverent!

The original song was written by folk singer Sylvia Fricker, later part of the folk duo Iain and Sylvia, and became a top three hit in the USA in the hands of a beat group called We Five.

You can find both these versions on YouTube. And the Parchment version is nothing like either.

It is frankly, manic. By the time it gets to the refrain: "I got troubles, I got worries, I got crucified" the band is singing in a kind of blues harmony while the mandolin is pinging away. And then there's the fade out with each of the three band members singing parts in a glorious jumble of sound.

It's not on any of the original albums - understandably as it would not have fitted on any of them. If you can hear a copy compare it with Sylvia's original version or We Five. There's a sample at the link to Simply..Parchment on the left or here. Sylvia's original is slow and stately while We Five upped the tempo a little in an artless sort of fashion. The Parchment version is in a different league.

  • There's also a Wikipedia entry on the song.
  • More info on mandolins here.