FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE, THE

Latest update on 21/03/2018

Artist: Peggy Seeger
Author: Ewan MacColl
Label: Folkways
Year: 1962

Pete Seeger's half sister and (third) life companion of composer and folk monument Ewan MacColl, the man who wrote Dirty Old Town while all of the Pogues still wore dirty dipers. Ewan was stunned and inspired by Peggy from the moment he saw her. He actually first saw her during a rehearsal for a tv-production in Chelsea where they were both supposed to sing. (Alan Lomax was a witness). MacColl was twenty years her senior, married and father. Anyhow, he was flabbergasted, wrote this song, saw Peggy again in '58 and this time for good. She got pregnant, married British folksinger Alex Campbell just for the sake of staying in England and close to Ewan. They were lovers until his dead in '89. And what about the song? The First Time was finally registered in '62 (on The New Briton Gazette Volume 2). That's when it ended being just a private musical love poem.

Covers:

1960:

Bonnie Dobson [as The First Time]

1962:

Kingston Trio

1962:

Kitty White

1963:

Nancy Ames

1964:

Chad Mitchell Trio

1964:

Joe & Eddie

1965:

Brothers Four

1965:

Peter, Paul & Mary

1966:

Marianne Faithfull

1966:

Smothers Brothers

1966:

Bert Jansch [instrumental]

1966:

Ian Campbell

1966:

Gordon Lightfoot

1967:

Harry Belafonte

1968:

Ewan MacColl [author]

1969:

Roberta Flack [n°1 US in '72 (see footnote)]

1969:

Nana Mouskouri

1970:

Temptations

1972:

Elvis Presley

1972:

Jimmy Castor Bunch

1972:

Dexter Gordon

1973:

Isaac Hayes

1973:

Toots Thielemans

1973:

Quincy Jones

1976:

Chi-Lites

1977:

Mel Tormé

1978:

Dick Gaughan [on lp The Songs Of Ewan MacColl]

1989:

Peter Blakeley

1989:

Christy Moore

1993:

Phil Couldon

1995:

Alison Moyet

1999:

June Tabor

1999:

George Michael

2001:

Stereophonics [with Jools Holland]

2002:

Caroline Lavelle

2002:

Johnny Cash

2002:

Appendix Out

2007:

Lucky Jim

2009:

Paul Potts [as La Prima Volta]

2009:

Harry Connick Jr.

2011:

Jan Rot [as Ik Leef Pas Vanaf Je Eerste Blik]

2014:

Luka Bloom

Roberta Flack first cut this song for her debut album First Take. The only one impressed was Clint Eastwood, who still remembered it three years later while shooting his film Play Misty For Me. It seemed perfect as soundtrack for one particular intimate scene. People who saw that movie rushed out of the theatre and into the record store asking for that particular song. Nowhere to be found until it's rush re-release and chart climb, all the way to the top.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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