[18] Roberta Flack, ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’

Roberta Flack

Speaking of Dexys Midnight Runners, good old Kev half-inched the intro from this for their ‘Reminisce (Part Two)’, didn’t he? Either he’s wracked with guilt about it and fessed up in the sleevenotes of the most recent Don’t Stand Me Down reissue, or, erm, I’m about to get sued.

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger’s original version of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ is a bit fairy fey, but it has a certain mystery. Roberta Flack draws that out, then draws the whole song out until it’s almost completely still, a beautiful ambient drone.

Junior’s mum says it makes her sad, but Junior herself thinks it’s about rolling your eyes. As opposed to “rose in your eyes”. So, while the rest of us feel an ache – or a creepy memory of Play Misty For Me – Junior hears Flack sounding exasperated.

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