Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Going Back to "Catch the Wind"

Remember Donovan's "Catch the Wind"?

It was the first single (1965) for this Scottish folk singer and one of his best. At the very least, the song contained some of Donovan's clearest lyrics, a soft and straightforward love song to which just about anyone could identify. "Catch the Wind" was one of two cuts on Donovan's Greatest Hits album (1969) that I played over and over when living in my first apartment. I sometimes still do.

The other song was "Jennifer Juniper," a song inspired by Jennifer Boyd, then a sister-in-law of George Harrison's. But if there was really any heavy passion in the air when the song was written, it must have dissipated for not long after the recording was made, Boyd married somebody else...Mick Fleetwood. And the Juniper bit? That apparently was the name of a boutique Jennifer Boyd once managed. (Jennie's photo, by the way, accompanies the song lyric below.)

I print the lyrics of both songs below but you might want to read through them while actually listening to Donovan sing them. You can do that through these nifty You Tube clips: "Catch the Wind" and "Jennifer Juniper." So, have a cup of tea and enjoy a few 1960's reflections courtesy of Donovan Leitch.

"Catch the Wind"

In the chilly hours and minutes,
Of uncertainty, I want to be,
In the warm hold of your loving mind.

To feel you all around me,
And to take your hand, along the sand,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

When sundown pales the sky,
I wanna hide a while, behind your smile,
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find.

For me to love you now,
Would be the sweetest thing, 'twould make me sing,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.

When rain has hung the leaves with tears,
I want you near, to kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind.

For standin' in your heart,
Is where I want to be, and I long to be,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.

"Jennifer Juniper"

Jennifer Juniper lives upon the hill,
Jennifer Juniper, sitting very still.
Is she sleeping ? I don't think so.
Is she breathing ? Yes, very low.
What ya' doing, Jennifer, my love ?

Jennifer Juniper, rides a dappled mare,
Jennifer Juniper, lilacs in her hair.
Is she dreaming ? Yes, I think so.
Is she pretty ? Yes, ever so.
What ya' doing, Jennifer, my love ?

I'm thinking of
what it would be like if she loved me.
You know just lately
this happy song
it came along
And I'd like to somehow try and tell you.

Jennifer Juniper, hair of golden flax.
Jennifer Juniper longs for what she lacks.
Do you like her ? Yes, I do, Sir.
Would you love her ? Yes, I would, Sir.
What ya' doing Jennifer, my love ?

Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper.

(This next and last verse is simply the French version of the first stanza.)

Jennifer Juniper vit sur la colline,
Jennifer Juniper assise très tranquille.
Dort-elle ? Je ne crois pas.
Respire-t-elle ? Oui, mais tout bas.
Qu'est-ce que tu fais, Jenny mon amour ?

Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper.