Five For Friday: Your “Black” Songs

Before I start: if you haven’t voted in my latest Battle of the Bands, matching Eddie Holland against The Doobie Brothers in a battle over who does the best "Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)," voting closes tomorrow at noon, so be sure and cast you ballot before then.

Last Friday, I chose five songs with "black" in the title and invited you to add other songs that you thought of. Four of you obliged me, and I thank you for that. I also thought of a song, so that’s in this set of five.

  1. The Irish Rovers, "Black Velvet Band": Kip remembered this one, a traditional folk tune that recalls a young woman tricking a young man into going to Australia, which in its distant past was a British prison camp.

  2. Santana, "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen": Eugenia came up with this. "Black Magic Woman" was written by Peter Green when he was with Fleetwood Mac, back in the days when it was a really good blues band. Santana arranged it around Carlos Santana’s guitar work and added a second song, Gabor Szabo’s "Gypsy Queen," at the end. As I recall, Szabo wasn’t happy about it.

  3. The Rolling Stones, "Paint It, Black": Willow added this one, a Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition from 1966, featuring some pretty good sitar work from Brian Jones, who probably got the idea from George Harrison’s early work on the instrument on 1965’s Rubber Soul.

  4. The Hollies, "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress": Paula added this to the list, from 1972 (I know that, because I remember when it came out). An unusual Hollies song because there’s none of the band’s signature harmony on it. Good song nevertheless.

  5. Los Bravos, "Black Is Black": This was my addition to round it up to five. The first Spanish rock band to have an international hit, which also, unfortunately, was their only hit.

If you have more, dump them in the comments. Let’s see how long we can go like this. That’s Five For Friday for January 21, 2022.

12 thoughts on “Five For Friday: Your “Black” Songs

  1. Hi John – thanks to you and your readers for these .. I thought you were going to include songs sung by others … eg Harry Belafonte, etc … another sub-genre perhaps … cheers Hilary

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    1. You could have suggested one or more… seriously, I play just about anything. Had I thought of it, I’d have played Horst Jankowski’s “A Walk In The Black Forest.”

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