Friday, February 7, 2014

Donovan tries to Catch the Wind

Album cover image from

Released in 1965, Catch the Wind also caught the imagination and spirit of the times.

The sad ballad called Donna Donna -- "On a wagon, bound for market, there's a calf with a mournful eye..."-- came out on the same album, and was a great favourite of our high school folksinging club leader, a teacher called Don Hitchcock from Australia. (As the baby boom hit high school, many teachers were recruited from outside Canada to fill the need.)

Donovan was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His other early hits included Try for the Sun, a paean to the power of youth and innocence, and Colours, and he did a popular version of Buffy Ste. Marie's Universal Solider as well.

My own memories of Donovan include spilling lemon yogurt in my purse after I hastily tucked an opened container of it in there when the London Tube train stopped at Goodge Street. My mission? To see the "Sunny Goodge Street" Donovan mentioned in his song. I duly saw it, and it was indeed sunny that day. I returned to my hotel, The Garden in Knightsbridge, where I cleaned out my purse. That was a messy job, but my day ended with a happy sense of accomplishment at having seen what I wanted to see.

Donovan is still making music, and has recently published his autobiography.

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