Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oscar Isaac & Marcus Mumford "Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)"

I nearly just posted this as my Facebook status:

I Googled "Dink."

It sounds positively dirty, doesn't it?  Or at least, completely incomprehensible.

The soundtrack to the forthcoming Coen Brothers' film "Inside Llewyn Davis" includes a version of a tune entitled "Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)."  The soundtrack has both a newly recorded version by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford, as well as an older version by Dave Van Ronk, who's memoirs apparently form a loose basis for the film.

Once again, I was faced with the "Joseph Arthur" dilemma, of trying to decide if I should put it on the playlist that the MVY DJs use as "Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)" or just "Fare Thee Well."

Growing up, the ONLY use of the work "dink" in my neighborhood, was as a slightly toned down synonym of "dick" that was okay to use as a 4th Grader.

I did learn later in life that "Dink" has some other connotations, including being a military acronym for"Desperately In Need of Knowledge" and the census/statistician acronym for "Double Income, No Kids."

But I realized that despite knowing that "Fare Thee Well" was known as "Dink's Song," (via Jeff Buckley's version), I had no idea why it was called "Dink's Song."

And that's when I Googled "dink" just praying that I didn't get a computer porn virus the way I did the day I Googled "Edith Head."

Though the song has been around for a couple hundred years, the first recording of it was by John Lomax in 1908.  He was doing field recordings of African American levee-builders in Texas, and made the first known recording of this song, as sung by a woman know as "Dink."

Hence, "Dink's Song."

So, is it more likely that a DJ is going to play the song and discuss turn-of-the-century ethnomusicologist's recordings?  Or that they'll play the song and be tempted to release their inner 4th-Grader by saying "Dink dink dink dink dink dink dink . . ." on the air?

Yeah, you know it, I left "Dink" out of the track listing.

Hear the song on Youtube.

1 comment:

  1. In the 60s every folksinger around recorded the song and they all called it Dink's song. The word also means small, as in dinky, so I'm guessing that Dink must have been a short woman.