Amy Goddard, Welsh singer, songwriter and luthier wrote and performed the current FATEA song of the year "Aberfan". The song, released to mark the 50th anniversary of that terrible day also became a spark that made Amy investigate the idea of mining related songs further. The fruit of that labour will eventually lead to an EP in 2018 but to whet the appetite for this eagerly awaited release the single from it has just become available.
"Green Is The Colour" is also a mining song but set this time in the mines of Devon, which were the greatest copper lode in Europe at the time. As well as copper the mines also produced huge amounts of arsenic, over 50% of the entire UK production and so productive that output had to be limited to stop prices becoming depressed. In 1855 a certain William Morris received an inheritance of 13 shares in the Company that owned these mines and used their products in some of his early wallpaper patterns.
The song makes an obvious nod to the traditional "Black Is The Colour" but this time contrasting the black of a true love's hair with the poisonous green of arsenical compounds, particularly Paris Green. Unusually though this isn't just about the suffering of the working classes, as is so often the case in mining songs. As is pointed out for both
"... the rich man in his townhouse and the miner underground, death was the guest at the table".
That consideration of all the impacts of this fashion makes this a very powerful song and one that still has a resonance today as we seek to exploit more of the world's diminishing resources. As with Aberfan, it was a situation that could have been avoided. Arsenic was already known to be highly poisonous as it was one of the most effective insecticides around at the time.
As always, Amy makes her point without undue fuss on this song. The lyrics are quiet and considered and her delicate voice brings proper sorrow as the narrator mourning the loss of her loved one. Unobtrusive supporting harmonies from producer Brian Kutchner quietly give depth to the sound. The music, too, is simple and effective letting the story tell itself; Amy is a storyteller, first and foremost. The track has this beautiful balance to it with each part adding to the whole and has been mixed with a lot of care and attention to detail
As a single "Green Is The Colour" stands on its own feet as a rather beautiful and haunting song but as a taster for the EP it promises to be part of something that is starting to sound special.
The single is available now through Amy's bandcamp page or other download platforms.
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