2. Colours Have Gone

"Colours Have Gone" is a folk song that draws from the rich tradition of storytelling and advice-giving in folk music. The song is written from the perspective of a woman who, like Tess in Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," feels blindsided by the lack of warning she received about the hardships of life. The song reflects on the importance of passing down advice and knowledge from woman to woman, a theme that is often present in folk music. More specifically, the song reflects on how oppression is reproduced across generations and the difficulty of breaking the cycle.

The melody is simple yet haunting, allowing for ample room for expressive ornamentation. The song's percussive guitar rhythm represents the continuous life-affirming pulse that runs through the protagonist of the song.

Further Resources

Henderson, K., Armstrong, F., Kerr, S. (eds.) (1987) My Song is My Own: 100 Women’s Songs. Pluto Press.

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