These six a cappella singers of the popular group Talk of the Town all share an incredible gift. They’re able to take an old song, add their own special flavor to it, and perform a gorgeously interesting version that really transforms it to be all their own.
The original author of this song remains a mystery; though the writer is unknown, musicologists say it is clearly based on old English ballads of the distant 18th century. The song slowly evolved over time, with lyrics being added and taken away, until finally, folk music player Clarence “Tom” Ashley recorded it in 1934, saying he learned the tune from his grandfather.
The song stayed in the public mindset from then on, with artists like Woody Guthrie adding their styles to it and eventually Bob Dylan covered it in his own folky way. But it wasn’t until The Animals made their legendary version of the song that it finally stuck. Recorded in 1964, their version of this old American tune left people shocked and even scared. Belting out the lyrics in utter pain left many people feeling uncomfortable, but perhaps it was because of that shock that the song remained so famous.
So when these six men took the stage to sing an a cappella version of the old song, we thought it would be more of the same. But when they start to sing? It’s truly breathtaking to listen to.
Singing in the slow, sombre, way that this song was probably initially meant to be sung is like being taken back in time 150 years into the past. These men sing with the heaviness that these lyrics demand, and by the end we just had to sit down. Please listen to their amazing performance.
And please SHARE this incredible song with your friends who love music!