|Song by Crosby, Stills & Nash|
|from the album Crosby, Stills & Nash|
|Crosby, Stills & Nash track listing|
"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". This song could very well be a memorial tribute song to the girlfriend Crosby lost in an automobile accident.
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."
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."
Miles Davis covered the song in a January 27, 1970 recording. 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.
In late 2017 Crosby tweeted that he changed his mind about Miles' composition: "Finally ....after so many years of not getting it ....I listened to Miles and his band doing Guinevere....and got it..." https://twitter.com/thedavidcrosby/status/946244083554455552
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Fillmore NY US 1970 (Bootleg) @256)_CD1 Available on the web as of 12_24_2012
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