Johnny Cash, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

I like the Roberta Flack version, which is direct and simple. But apparently Ewan MacColl, who wrote the song, thought it was too pop.

It is pop, it has strings, which is why it was a big and deserved hit.

There is a new album of Ewan MacColl covers out. A tribute album, as it were. He was a giant of the Englishy folk scene of the 50s, and married Pete Seeger’s sister to boot. He claimed their version of this song was the best, stripped down and weird, but he’s wrong (though to be fair he died before Johnny Cash recorded his version).

For the record, here’s the lovely Roberta Flack version, which is also better than MacColl’s.

2 thoughts on “Johnny Cash, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

  1. The first time ever I heard this song was in the movie Play Misty For Me. I can’t listen to it without thinking of psychotic murderesses. Same thing with “Stuck in the Middle With You,” which plays during an especially sick scene in Reservoir Dogs. You might remember. I knew that song, and while hardly loving it I could at least derive some small pleasure. Now I turn it off. Let’s hear something sweet like The Ballad of Dwight Fry:

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