Guinnevere

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"Guinnevere"
Song by Crosby, Stills & Nash from the album Crosby, Stills & Nash
Released 1969
Recorded 1969
Genre Folk
Length 4:39
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) David Crosby
Composer(s) David Crosby
Producer(s) David Crosby
Graham Nash
Stephen Stills
Crosby, Stills & Nash track listing
Marrakesh Express
(2)
"Guinnevere"
(3)
You Don't Have to Cry
(4)

"Guinnevere" is a folk song written by David Crosby in 1969. The song appears on Crosby, Stills & Nash's critically acclaimed eponymous debut album. The song is notable for its serene yet pointed melody and its unique lyrics, which compare Queen Guinevere to the object of the singer's affection, referred to as "m'lady".

Composition[edit]

In a Rolling Stone interview, Crosby remarked: "That is a very unusual song, it's in a very strange tuning (EBDGAD) with strange time signatures. It's about three women that I loved. One of who was Christine Hinton - the girl who got killed who was my girlfriend - and one of who was Joni Mitchell, and the other one is somebody that I can't tell. It might be my best song."

Lyrical themes[edit]

The song also deals with the importance of freedom. It may have been written about Queen Guinevere from the perspective of a man addressing a woman; it has been speculated that Crosby wrote about her from the perspective of Sir Lancelot of ancient Welsh lore. "Guinnevere" could also be referring to Nancy Ross, who lived with David Crosby and (according to author David McGowan) drew pentagrams on the wall. She would leave Crosby in 1966 for Gram Parsons, who came from big money in Florida, in the orange/citrus business. These facts make the "Nancy Ross" theory more believable: in the song, Crosby sings that Guinnevere "drew pentagrams," and that "peacocks wandered aimlessly underneath an orange tree."[1][citation needed]

Cover versions[edit]

Miles Davis covered the song in 1970. The song appeared on Circle in the Round, released 1979. It is also available on The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions. According to David Crosby's 2016 podcast interview with Marc Maron, Davis played it for Crosby at the former's home before releasing it. Crosby did not recognize any resemblance between Davis' version and his composition and Davis kicked him out of his house.[2]

Later in 1970 Herbie Mann recorded a cover version, appearing the next year on his album Memphis Two-Step.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Fillmore NY US 1970 (Bootleg) @256)_CD1 Available on the web as of 12_24_2012