See all items covering the Bert Jansch commemoration at this link: https://www.salutlive.com/bert-jansch/
John Clark, a son of Sunderland happily exiled in Spain, plays, writes and sings his own sings as well as covering those of others. He responded to our series of articles commemorating what would have been Bert Jansch's 80th birthday (Nov 3) by offering this piece of his own about 'one of the greatest love songs every written" ...
Before I saw Bert Jansch at Sunderland Empire in 1976, I didn't know much about him except I was aware he'd been part of The Pentangle (like THE Pink Floyd, and even THE Status Quo, I prefer the name with the "the").
I had also heard one of his solo albums at a friend's house. Not sure which album it was but it piqued my interest enough to check him out when the Empire advertised the concert.
He was mesmerising. One man sitting on a stage alone, hunched over his guitar, and playing impeccably. It's quite a feat to keep an audience's attention for maybe ninety minutes singing and playing alone, mostly quiet songs, but that night he did it.
I'm not sure if he played this song that night as my memory is not THAT good, but it's a possibility as it had been released only two years previously, on his album LA Turnaround.
It's a great album, produced by ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith and featuring my favourite Bert song, Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning. For me at least, this showcases Bert's singing superbly, and his songwriting.
When people talk about Bert they usually, understandably, focus on his guitar playing, which of course is outstanding. Here however, his guitar is not the dominant instrument; at the forefront is pedal steel guitar, played by Red Rhodes. It's a beautiful arrangemen. I've always rated Bert's voice and here it really shines. As does the songwriting. What a melody! And the lyrics!
Big statement here but I consider it one of the greatest love songs ever written. This may be a sweeping generalisation but what woman could resist lines like:
If I were a small bird oh so tinyI'd hide in her hair now, just to be near herTo hear her sweet voiceAnd to feel her sweet body ooh beside me
Bert, you sweet talking devil you. It's always the quiet ones.....