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songs you don’t know: “Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground)” – Blind Willie Johnson

21 Feb

I just caught an episode of The West Wing where Josh Lyman was talking about the Voyager spacecraft, and how there’s a record on it featuring Earth music from Gregorian Chant to Chuck Berry. It includes this song from Blind Willie Johnson, an early 20th century blues man whose mother blinded him with lye and who died broke and homeless. As Josh says: “and now his music just left the solar system.”

This has got to be the most breathtakingly sad song you’ll ever hear.

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Posted by on February 21, 2008 in history, music, tv, youtube

 

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