Unenlightened

Unenlightened: adjective not enlightened in outlook.

Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity

-Donovan, ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’

Another lyric that doesn’t exactly ring out through the ages with its clarity and insight, but still, Hurdy Gurdy Man is very much of its time.  Released in 1968 and charting in the top 5 in both the UK and US, the song exemplified the increasing commerciality of psychedelic-tinged pop songs laden with unusual effects.  Donovan claims that Jimmy Page played lead guitar on the recording, but others involved with the recording dispute this.  Devotees of unusual cover versions should examine the film of Eartha Kitt performing a menacingly odd renditionof the song on German TV in 1970 – it’s short, sweet, and frankly loopy.  Personally, whenever I hear Hurdy Gurdy Man I can’t help but remember the made-up lyrics on Neil from The Young Ones’ Neil’s Heavy Concept Album‘Flaky pastry, flaky pastry he sa-a-ang…’

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