Friday, October 30, 2009

Hurdy Gurdy Man

This is probably my favorite song from the sixties. It has that Indian, Eastern influence which gives it a psychedelic, trippy sound.

For years I never knew the definition of a Hurdy Gurdy man, but I sang along anyway. It was obviously a song about love and peace - the dominate theme of the sixties - and I was content imagining that the Hurdy Gurdy man was some Ghandi-like hippie who went around making everyone feel loved or sat around a campfire at night and passed around a pipe. Oh, and he sang songs of love.

Apparently, a hurdy gurdy is a musical instrument. From Wiki: The hurdy gurdy or hurdy-gurdy (also known as a wheel fiddle) is a stringed musical instrument in which the strings are sounded by means of a rosined wheel which the strings of the instrument pass over. This wheel, turned with a crank, functions much like a violin bow, making the instrument essentially a mechanical violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents (small wedges, usually made of wood) against one or more of these strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic string instruments, it has a soundboard to make the vibration of the strings audible.

Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I'm opening my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquility

'Twas then when the hurdy gurdy man
Came singing songs of love
Then when the hurdy gurdy man
Came singing songs of love

Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang

Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity

'Tis then when the hurdy gurdy man
Comes singing songs of love
Then when the hurdy gurdy man
Comes singing songs of love

Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy hurdy gurd
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang

Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang
Here comes the roly-poly man
He's singing songs of love
Roly poly, roly poly, roly poly poly he sang
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy he sang
Roly poly, roly poly, roly poly poly he sang

3 comments:

Kittie Howard said...

I chuckled when I read about you singing along and not know what a hurdy gurdy man was...I didn't either!! Did wonder about it but moved on to wondering about other Sixties stuff. I'd have never thought it had to do with a musical instrument. Really fascinating!! Thanks! I actually feel a bit smarter, no kidding!!

Kittie Howard said...

I chuckled when I read about you singing along and not know what a hurdy gurdy man was...I didn't either!! Did wonder about it but moved on to wondering about other Sixties stuff. I'd have never thought it had to do with a musical instrument. Really fascinating!! Thanks! I actually feel a bit smarter, no kidding!!

Louisiana Belle said...

Hi Kittie. Glad I could make you feel smarter. That doesn't happen with me very often. :)