Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Contrasts: Dark Was the Night

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"Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" is a gospel-blues song written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson and recorded probably in 1927. The song is primarily an instrumental featuring Johnson's self-taught bottleneck slide guitar and picking style accompanied by his vocalizations of humming and moaning. It has the distinction of being one of 27 samples of music included on the Voyager Golden Record, launched into space in 1977 to represent the diversity of life on Earth. "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" was chosen as the human expression of loneliness.

"Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground)" by Blind Willie Johnson, performed by Marc Ribot on the documentary "The Soul of a Man".