Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hurdy Gurdy Joyfest

'Twas then when the hurdy gurdy man
Came singing songs of love.
Then when the hurdy gurdy man
Came singing songs of love.

I'm in a retro, psychedelic mood tonight. And, for some reason, I was drawn to Donovan's immortal Hurdy Gurdy Man.

I've never been sure what or who the song is about. Actually, I just read tonight that it was Donovan's gift to his musician friend Mac MacLeod, bassist in a 60's Danish-English power trio called Hurdy Gurdy. I've also heard that it refers to the then superstar guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

But it doesn't really matter to me who Donovan was writing for or about. What matters is that this amazing song has always resonated with something deep inside me that yearns for ecstatic, soul-expanding release from my self-imposed semi-isolation from the wide, sometimes wonderful world that surrounds and, ultimately, IS me.

I love this song.

Donovan's original recording.

Steve Hillage's celebratory version.

Finally, Steve Hillage's Hurdy Gurdy Glissando.

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