February 25, 2011

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Today I heard this song covered by a Welsh band, the Stereophonics. Most people think that Roberta Flack wrote this song.

It was written in 1957 by political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, who was later to become his wife. At the time the couple were lovers, although MacColl was married to someone else.

MacColl wrote the song for Seeger, also a folk singer, after she asked him to pen a song for a play she was in. MacColl wrote the song and taught it to Seeger over the phone. The alternative version of the creation of this song is that MacColl was challenged by a friend to write a love song, with no politics. This song was the result.

MacColl and Seeger included the song in their repertoire, when performing in folk clubs around Britain. During the 1960s.

The song entered the pop mainstream when it was recorded by Roberta Flack in 1972. The Flack version was much slower than the original: an early solo recording by Seeger, for example, clocked in at two and a half minutes long, whereas Flack's is more than twice that length.

Stereophonics  'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'

1 comment:

  1. I've listened to versions sung by all the singers mentioned plus and a few others (thank you iTunes!) and, for me, Roberta Flack "owns" the song.