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...you're my singer, let me be your song...


Original poster

Film credits

Poor Cow

Release date: December 5, 1967 (UK)

Director: Ken Loach

Tracks composed by Donovan:

01. Be Not To Hard
02. Poor Cow
03. Colours


  • · The title song went through many changes since Donovan first composed it. Its original title wasn't Poor Cow, but Poor Love. Originally, Donovan composed Poor Love as part of a series of songs he was writing for The Lord Of The Rings. He had the idea of making a film based on the book, but then he learned that the Beatles were working on a similar project and were first in line. The project was stopped because J. R. R. Tolkien didn't want his story made into a film or even illustrated, he wanted everyone to imagine the characters by themselves. The original lyric of Poor Love includes the lines:

    Oh, I dwell in the north, in the green country

    Faramir, far from here

    Donovan sings this lines in the single version and also in the Donovan In Concert version, which was recorded (before the release of the film) at the Anaheim Convention Center on November 17, 1967 but was released in August 1968 - and in this concert he even introduces the song as Poor Love, although in the tracklist is listed as Poor Cow.
  • · Donovan changed the name of the song when it was going to be featured in Kean Loach's movie. The film version was probably recorded during the first sessions for the Hurdy Gurdy Man album, in November 1967 and features only Donovan with acoustic guitar and a very brief instrumental intro. The lyrics were changed, too: the rural green landscape was replaced with a grey industrial one, to match the script. Thus, were the original version said "I dwell in the north in the green country", the film version said "I dwell in the town in the grey country". The word "wearily" replaced "far and near" (which already had replaced "Faramir"!). "I dwelt with my pride and my songs and things" was replaced with "I live with my pride and my babe (or kid) and things". The "greenwood" was replaced with a "wasteground". The part that mentions Sandy Lee ("And I dream of the girl with the sunshine eye/Sandy Lee, wherever she may be") didn't appeared at all in the film version because it wouldn't have made any sense, so Donovan sang instead "And I take to my rest at the end of day". And finally he doesn't "make a song" anymore, he just "hear a song".
  • · The studio version of Poor Cow was eventually released as the B side for the single Jennifer Juniper (although the American single was first scheduled to have Poor Cow as the A side). It was recorded in an unknown London studio, probably Olympic Studios, with producer Mickie Most, Danny Thompson on bass and Tony Carr on percusion. It is unclear who played the accordion, maybe Jack Emblow. Strings were added later by an orchestra arranged and conducted by John Cameron. The single version was probably part of the Hurdy Gurdy Man album sessions, in November 1967.
  • · The film opens with Be Not To Hard, a Christopher Logue poem (September Song) beautifully set to music by Donovan. This has never appeared in any Donovan album but Joan Baez recorded a version for her 1967 album, Joan.
  • · During the movie, the character played by Terence Stamp sings a version of Colours.
  • · Donovan occasionally declared he wanted to release all the Poor Cow soundtrack in his Donovan Records vinyl label, as he would declare for some of his later soundtracks, but this never happened. This album would have contained Be Not Too Hard, Poor Cow, Colours and at least four instrumental versions of Poor Cow.
  • · Interestingly enough, the Donovan Greatest songbook includes the film version of Poor Cow, not the single version.
  • · The film credits lists: "Music by Donovan" and "Arranged and Conducted by John Cameron".
  • · In 2010, Ken Loach uploaded his filmography for free on YouTube. You can watch the film Poor Cow here.

  • Sources:
  • · Barabajournal, A Donovan Miscellany (Ade Macrow, 2006).
  • · imdb.com.

Original poster

Film credits

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

Release date: April 24, 1969 (USA)

Director: Mel Stuart

Tracks composed by Donovan:

01. If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

02. Lord Of The Reedy River


  • · The film opens with the title song, but it was sung by J. P. Rags, not by Donovan. There are at least two versions recorded by Donovan. The acoustic demo was much more upbeat than the final recording, which was slower and ambiental. This song wasn't released in any official Donovan album although the demo version appeared in the Lord Of The Dance bootleg. The end of the song features a short version of If It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium, again sung by J. P. Rags.
  • · The version of Lord Of The Reedy River was sung by Donovan, who actually appeared in the film, portraying a singer in a Youth Hostel in Switzerland. See more information of his appearance here.
  • · The film includes other popular songs from the time.
  • · The film credits lists: "Music Composed and Conducted by Walter Scharf" and "Title song and 'Lord Of The Reedy River' Written by Donovan".
  • · The LP soundtrack was released in 1969 on United Artists label (UAS5197). It included the two versions of If It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium, sung by J. P. Rags, but not Lord Of The Reedy River.

  • Sources:
  • · As I Recall It. The life & music of Donovan (Rolf Goodwin, 2009).
  • · imdb.com.

Soundtrack LP sleeve front

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