Skip

Farewell Angelina by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Nana Mouskouri, among others
December 7, 2012 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Audio only, Newport 1966: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
Recorded Jan. 13, 1965, released 1991: Bob Dylan - Farewell Angelina
B/W Video 1966 Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
Tablature and lyrics following those of the Dylan recording: dylanchords: Farewell Angelina
French TV 1967: Nana Mouskouri - Adieu Angélina
Bratislava 1989, avant de la Révolution de velours: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
From the 90s, or so I believe: Nickle Creek - Farewell Angelina
June 19, 2010 at Kidzstock: Joan Baez and Jasmine Harris - Farewell Angelina

And then, there are these:

Of provenance unknown: Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas - Farewell Angelina

French TV 1966: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina

Obligatory original album version: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina


The song, if not written to her or for her, became hers from the release of her album in of the same name in 1966. Dylan's version , though recorded 9 months before hers -- never released until his The Bootleg Series 1-3 of 1991 -- is very much a work in progress: the lyrics at BobDylan.com follow those of her version. And apart from his one attempt at recording the song, he abandoned it and has never performed it in concert.

I was a junior in high school in 1966 and very much a Dylan fan, so I was blown away, and because I heard it when I was a certain age, naturally enough, the song, the lyrics are embedded in me. While nearly each line flashes with image and sound I make no attempts to shovel the glimpse Into the ditch of what each one means. I fall between thinking it was written as a gift and thinking it an apologetic farewell. Judging from the evidence, it certainly means something to her.

In a somewhat interesting sidenote, Daniel Syrovy, one of the self ordained professors at dylanchords theorizes that the song Angelina, an outtake from the last of his three overtly Christian albums, Shot of Love, was written as a sort of answer song to Farewell, Angelina. Hmm, the plating on those beans is awfully thick, think I.


And, for the Francophones, here is

Adieu Angélina -

Adapt.H.Aufray / P.Delanoë

Adieu Angélina les cloches de la couronne
Ont été volés à l'aube je les entends qui sonnent
Et je me dépèche je dois les rattraper
Adieu Angélina le ciel est en feu
Et je m'en vais

Ce n'est pas la peine d'en faire une affaire
Ce n'est pas la peine d'ameuter toute la terre
C'est une table vide sur le bord de la mer
Adieu Angélina le ciel a tremblé
Je dois m'en aller

Les rois et les reines quittent la basse cour
Deux cents bohémiennes sont entrés la cour
Dans la salle du tout va rien ne va plus pour moi
Adieu Angélina le ciel s'écroule
Je te verrai plus tard

Regarde ces pirates dans la Voie Lacté
Qui tirent sur des boites avec un canon scié
Les voisins applaudissent poussent des cris de joie
Adieu Angélina le ciel se décolore
Je dois me sauver

King Kong et les elfes vont danser sur les toits
De longs tangos typiques tandis que de leurs doigts
Des maquilleurs s'escriment à fermer les yeux de la mort
Adieu Angélina le ciel est trop sombre
Je dois m'échapper

Les mitrailleuses crépitent les poupés mobilisent
Des bombes au plastique éclatent dans les églises
Appelle-moi comme tu veux je ne discute pas
Mais adieu Angélina le ciel se déchaine
Je vais chercher la paix

I have no idea of how close or apt that translation is but the arrangement certainly follows that of Baez.
posted by y2karl (33 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for these. This one was recorded on the day I was born, as was this clip of the Velvet Underground playing at the psychiatrists convention in NYC on January 13, 1966. The internet doth freak me out sometimes.
posted by jetsetsc at 8:30 PM on December 7, 2012


I only discovered Joan Baez last week, but I've been listening to her music a lot since then. Thanks for posting this.
posted by xekul at 8:30 PM on December 7, 2012


Thanks for these. This yt one was recorded on the day I was born,

See also the second link above. Which was recorded in 1965, not 1966, something which I hope is soon fixed.
posted by y2karl at 8:35 PM on December 7, 2012


Man. Ya see y2karl on a post, the mousie heads fer da leetle + sign without any conscious action.
Thanks for these!
posted by drhydro at 8:36 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


That album was a huge part of my childhood. Thank you for this.
posted by jokeefe at 8:48 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Always love your posts y2karl.

Dylan always excelled at complexly mournful goodbye songs, this one included.

Ahh Nana Mouskouri's sweet pure voice! Such a pleasure to hear. It seems like that clip was a sort of pre-Muppets kind of thing with a puppet in the audience. Looking up Nana Mouskouri just now I discovered she's " the best-selling female recording artist of all time."

Adding this Bengali singer's rendition of Farewell Angelina into the mix. Kabir Suman sings in Bengali at about 2:20.
posted by nickyskye at 8:50 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I only discovered Joan Baez last week, but I've been listening to her music a lot since then...

She is an acquired taste for some. But you have to admire someone who has gone with both Bob Dylan and Steve Jobs. She will be more than a footnote in history.

I heard her from the beginning and have lost whatever excitement I had long ago. But I do love some of the albums she recorded for Vanguard. Her later stuff, not so much. One friend once described her as 10 pounds of sincerity in a 5 pound bag. And, then again regard her concert at Bratislava, where she stood with Chapter 77 -- she has stood for what is right more than some.

An old girlfriend of mine described the album Farewell Angelina as the most depressing album ever recorded. My father called it suicide music. It is an ineffably sad record but it has its moments, the title track first and foremost, Though I rarely listen to it, I must say that for over forty years here, I have found myself singing The Rangers Command, a song I only knew by her for the first twenty or so, almost every time I have walked across a bridge in Seattle.
posted by y2karl at 8:59 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Adding this Bengali singer's rendition of Farewell Angelina into the mix...

Secondhand Songs also lists versions in Swedish and Italian and I read somewhere there is a German version as well. It boggles the mind to think of how it translates into any language as a sung song.
posted by y2karl at 9:08 PM on December 7, 2012


theorizes that the song Angelina

Theorizes what???

(Great post.)
posted by ericost at 9:15 PM on December 7, 2012


Oops, another typo!
posted by y2karl at 9:17 PM on December 7, 2012


And, speaking of German, also on the album Farewell, Angelina was Sagt Mir, Wo Die Blumen Sind ? -- yet another hootenanny moldie oldie.
posted by y2karl at 9:39 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just picked this record up for $1 at a thrift store.

Thanks for all these links -- I was actually listening to the title track, noticing the writing credit was Dylan's, and thinking that I hadn't actually heard his rendition of the song.
posted by Sara C. at 9:54 PM on December 7, 2012


My father called it suicide music.

Not inappropriately, either. I'm hearing this song for the first time now. Hard to believe as sweet a voice as Joan Baez's can sound this somber.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:06 PM on December 7, 2012


It may seem counter-intuitive that a Prog & Arena Rock brat such as myself who had his brain re-shaped by Punk & New Wave would have a soft spot for the 60's folk singers, but there you go.

For a few short years there, between when she divorced my dad & married my step-father, when I was a very small child -- age 5 to 8 -- these Baez songs, Joni's Both Sides Now, Judy Collins & the Fariñas were the soundtrack to my mom's life as she tried to find herself, before everything went awry. It's not so sad to me -- it just sounds like a cold, drafty flat at 21st & Castro, 1967, which was actually a good time & place to be a little kid.

Who Knows Where the Time Goes (a Sandy Denny composition, I learned many years later) is the one that makes my heart just ache, these days.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:36 PM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


As with many other Dylan/Baez songs, the story behind the melody is often as great as the song. Many sites will tell you Dylan borrowed the melody from Pete Seeger's Wagoner's Lad, first recorded in 1928 by Buell Kazee. As Just Another Tune points out in this rather informative post the Wagoner's Lad melody was well-known & heavily utilized in 19th century music, including the haunting (& my personal favorite use of the melody) Pretty Saro (also, covered here by the wonderful Iris Dement). But as the Just Another Tune site shows, Dylan probably was more influenced by the melody & lyrics of "Farewell to Tarwathie," a beautiful whaling ballad whose most famous versionis sung by Judi Collins, which-- appropriately enough, if you didn't notice-- features Collins dueting with humpback whales(!).

Not that I'm not a fan of the Dylan/Baez/Buckley versions. Hell, I even like the Spanish mariachi version-- Adios Angelina!
posted by Perko at 11:50 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


.... a beautiful whaling ballad whose most famous version is sung by Judi Collins, which-- appropriately enough, if you didn't notice-- features Collins dueting with humpback whales(!) .

Which was when Judy Collins jumped the shark, as far as I am concerned.
posted by y2karl at 1:15 AM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


And here, from The Big T.N.T. Show, is Joan Baez - You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, with Phil Spector at the piano, conducting a full Wall of Sound orchestral treatment.
Man, I remember seeing that movie in Salina, Kansas in 1966. Sort of... Somewhat...
posted by y2karl at 1:31 AM on December 8, 2012


Spector was there in support of the Ronettes, as I recall. Oh, man, that was such a great rock 'n roll movie. /derail
posted by y2karl at 1:50 AM on December 8, 2012


My favorite: "Farewell Angelina," covered by (the very fine) Tim O'Brien.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:47 AM on December 8, 2012


Which was when Judy Collins jumped the shark, as far as I am concerned.

Was it a whale shark?
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:56 AM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whale of a, at the very least...
posted by y2karl at 10:14 AM on December 8, 2012


Which was when Judy Collins jumped the shark, as far as I am concerned.

Why don't you try singing with whales & see if it sounds any better?
posted by Perko at 11:18 AM on December 8, 2012


Nah, it wastes your time & annoys the whale.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:18 PM on December 8, 2012


Why don't you try singing with whales & see if it sounds any better ?

With ? Rather than against or over ? Such presumption. The concept is abomination enough.
posted by y2karl at 1:03 PM on December 8, 2012


The concept is abomination enough.

Guess I better go burn my copy of The Beatles' "Blackbird."

Anyways, you don't sing against or over a whale, unless you want to lose.
posted by Perko at 4:29 PM on December 8, 2012


Guess I better go burn my copy of The Beatles' "Blackbird."

No humpback whales were abominated during the production of this song.
posted by y2karl at 7:50 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps you can explain to me how the humback whales were abominated in Judy Collins' song & not the Blackbirds in the Beatles'. In other words, get back to me when you have a stance to support your opinion, rather than just voicing it as if you are the be all and end all of auditory opinions. I'll leave this conversation now & let you have the last word.
posted by Perko at 9:06 PM on December 8, 2012


Perhaps you can explain to me how the humback whales were abominated in Judy Collins' song & not the Blackbirds in the Beatles'.

Oh ? And don't forget the jungle bird calls of Martin Denny ! Then, one could explain how to stuff straw into a strawman, no ?

So, I hated the aforementioned Judy Collins song from the git go, found the concept pretentious, gimmicky and repulsive. Your favorite viciously de-cetaceanizing exploitation of never consulted marine mammals sucks. And so forth....

( Loved her cover of 'Suzanne,' from the album 'In My Life,' though -- that was the first recording of a Leonard Cohen song anyone ever heard. It seemed to promise so much. Then we heard his first album. What a shock that was... )

Many other people musak'd humpback whale songs back in the day -- Paul Horn comes to mind. I found that a whale ripping off abomination, too. Suck suck sucky. But, ymmv, no ? Tl;dr - tastes differ. C'est la vie.

Anyhow, anyway, instead, I went looking for some notable Baez outliers of a certain vintage.

So, to be or not to end all auditory opinions [ as if! ] ...

These first two, tracks 1 and 2 of her eponymous first solo album, are probably the songs, most people of a certain age ever heard by her:
Joan Baez - Silver Dagger
Joan Baez - East Virginia
-- from her 5th eponymous album comes first a little Lord Byron by way of Rich Dyer-Bennet...
Joan Baez - So We'll Go No More A-Roving
And, then some Villa-Lobos --
Joan Baez - Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 Aria
Yet another from Farewell Angelina --
Joan Baez - Satisfied Mind
From the 1967 album Joan --
One of two Tim Hardin songs thereon, Joan Baez - The Lady Came From Baltimore
Then Edgar Allan Poe's last poem set to music by composer Don Dilworth and a phalanx of French horns arranged by Richard Schikele of P.D.Q. Bach fame --
Joan Baez - Annabelle Lee
And, also from 'Joan' is her last recording of a Chld ballad -- Joan Baez - The Greenwood Sidie
And then an outake therefrom, a cover of a song by Edith Piaf later turned into a standard by Johnny Mercer: Joan Baez - Les Feuilles Mortes
From 1968 Joan Baez - Suzanne
...and, then, suitable to sing when crossing the University Bridge, there is
Joan Baez - The Ranger`s Command
posted by y2karl at 9:47 PM on December 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, man, that rendition of Silver Dagger just floors me.

I kind of get the hate for Judy Collins and the humpback whales -- there was a certain smarmy early 90's thing about whalesong, and saving the whales, and cetaceans being better people than us or something. Little did we know that dolphins are a bunch of rapists. But anyway. I will also admit to not being a huge fan of Judy Collins aside from that one cover of Suzanne. Maybe I just haven't unearthed the right stuff out of the $2 record bin, which is where I get most of my folk music. The one record I had for a while was pretentious shit.
posted by Sara C. at 9:56 PM on December 8, 2012


I loved the Judy Collins In My Life album. Otherwise, she left me cold.

So, here's a memory of mine: first, some background -- back in the day, '58, '69', '70, Joan Baez released a double album of all Dylan covers entitled And Day Now, which was recorded in Nashville using many of the same musicians that had played on Blonde on Blonde and John Wesley Harding. I found the concept had merit but found the execution more meh than I expected -- Baez actually being one of the best Dylan interpeters to my mind. But, it wasn't bad by any means.

Anyway, true story: fade to two decades later, the end of the 80s or earliest 90s and Judy Collins has recorded an album of all Dylan songs and while I am listening one night, she has gone on Larry King's overnight radio show of the time to promote it. And while pushing her production, she makes it out to be an epochal and revolutionary event and pretends to not know of any Dylan cover album made hitherto by any known folksinger of merit up to that point. Hers is the first. Man, are my eyes rolling.

So, when it comes to open phones, the callers are all over her about her amnesia regarding Any Day Now... Caller after caller brings it up.

And Collins dummies up: she continues to pretend to have never heard of the Baez album at all and cuts off every caller who brings up Any Day Now. I mean, give me a break! I can understand her wanting to promote her own product but get real and give credit where credit is due, already. I found that so hinky.

posted by y2karl at 10:31 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Judy Collins may have sung with whales, but she also released Albatross in 1967, an utterly gorgeous sort-of rewriting of The Lady of Shallott with the most heartbreaking string arrangement, so I love her forever for that.

I wanted to link to Saigon Bride but apparently the version from Joan isn't on Youtube. Didn't Peter Schickele, of PDQ Bach fame, write the orchestral arrangements on Joan? They enthralled me when I was nine years old and they still sound wonderful to me now. And I must have read Baez's autobiography Daybreak a dozen times as a girl; she was my first hero, really.

The music that marks you as a child is forever powerful is what I mean to say.
posted by jokeefe at 10:59 PM on December 8, 2012


The music that marks you as a child is forever powerful is what I mean to say.

When you have no past, the future yawns empty before you, what you hear first, you hear the most deeply and intensely. Live long enough, then every note summons memories and ghosts rise from the floorboards, making it hard to hear one note clean amid a thousand reveries and regrets.

And speaking of time passing, it is something else to see the same person sing the same song at the ages of 24, 49 and 69.
If it were not for her insistence on doing her Bob Dylan impression in every interview still, one could almost argue that she has aged gracefully.
But at least she doesn't do the funky chicken anymore.
posted by y2karl at 5:34 PM on December 9, 2012


> I loved the Judy Collins In My Life album. Otherwise, she left me cold.

Me too, pretty much, but that one album was for the ages. The year it was released the competition was heart-stopping. Stones, Aftermath; Beach Boys, Pet Sounds; Dylan, Blond on Blond; Beatles, Revolver; Zappa/Mothers, Freak Out. Y2mmv but to my ears In My Life remains an album of the same stature as the others.
posted by jfuller at 6:13 PM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older It's interesting seeing the original direction for...   |   Something convoluted needs explaining. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post