I had thought that the song had dropped out of the national memory because I never encountered it anymore, neither when people were being nostalgic nor in music/folk retrospectives. Yet when I went to look for it I saw it had been done in "Inside Llewyn Davis." I have not seen the movie, despite my sons assuring me I would like it, and I have to admit its inclusion is spot on. Everyone sang it in the 60s. Not just the long list of PP&M, the Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, the Brothers Four, Roseanne Cash, etc, but every coffee-house singer of the time. The chords are simple, the story poignant and understandable, and everyone who picked up a guitar learned it.
The first time I heard this song was in 2000, when I was living in China. It was on a kind of random record of American folk songs I found in a shop there. I worked it out, and I was nearly eight thousand miles away from home.
My wife was in a short-lived High School folk group with three of her female friends in the mid 1960s.They sang it at church youth events and the like. I thought, "Wow, the girl I'm dating is in a REAL group!"
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