Sweet Sir Galahad

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"Sweet Sir Galahad"
Single by Joan Baez
from the album One Day at a Time (album)
B-side "Long Black Veil"
Released October 1969
Format 45 RPM single
Recorded September 1969, Bradley's Barn, Nashville
Genre Folk
Length 3:26
Label Vanguard (UK)
Vanguard (US)
Writer(s) Joan Baez
Producer(s) Maynard Solomon
Joan Baez
Joan Baez singles chronology
"Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word"
"Sweet Sir Galahad"
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"
One Day at a Time (album) track listing
"Sweet Sir Galahad"
"No Expectations"

"Sweet Sir Galahad" is a song written by Joan Baez that she famously performed at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969,[1] after having debuted the song on appearance in a Season Three episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour earlier that year. A recording of the song, first released as a single in late 1969, would lead off Baez' 1970 album One Day at a Time.

The song tells the story of Baez' younger sister Mimi Fariña and her second marriage was to music producer Milan Melvin after her first husband Richard Fariña had died in a motorcycle accident. Mimi and Milan were married at the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival. Baez was inspired to write the song, after hearing of Melvin's courtship of Fariña, during which he came into her bedroom at night through the window.[2]

It has since become one of Baez' best-known compositions. In her 1987 memoir And a Voice to Sing With, Baez described "Sweet Sir Galahad" as the first song she ever wrote (though she is credited as a co-writer on two tracks on her 1967 album Joan).[3]

In 2006, Baez contributed a "re-tooled" version of the song to Volume 1 of the XM Artist Confidential CD series, available at Starbucks. In the new version, Baez briefly changes the lyric "Here's to the dawn of their days" to "Here's to the dawn of her days," a tribute to the song's subject, Baez's sister Mimi, who had died in 2001. Milan Melvin, aka "Sir Galahad", also died in 2001.

A live version of the song appears as a bonus track on the 2006 reissue Baez' 1995 live album Ring Them Bells. It should not be confused with the Sir Galahad song by Rick Wakeman.


  1. ^ Pete Fornatale (30 June 2009). Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock. Simon and Schuster. pp. 49–. ISBN 978-1-4165-9677-6. 
  2. ^ Markus Jaeger (1 April 2010). Popular Is Not Enough: The Political Voice Of Joan Baez: A Case Study In The Biographical Method. Columbia University Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-3-8382-0106-1. 
  3. ^ Joan Baez (10 April 2012). And A Voice to Sing With: A Memoir. Simon and Schuster. pp. 317–. ISBN 978-1-4516-8840-5. 

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