Richard Thompson’s Lovely 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Richard Thompson Rumor and Sigh album cover via Wikipedia

Richard Thompson Rumor and Sigh album cover via Wikipedia

I don’t usual post popular musical stuff at this blog, but my wife and I were driving (yes, driving) last week, and a Richard Thompson song (I Feel So Good) came on the radio, I think KCRW. We both started talking about Richard Thompson, who she’s seen live, and how much we liked his 1991 album “Rumor and Sigh.”

Especially the song 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. (Video below)

So, this being the 21st century, I found a recording of it on youtube. It brought tears to my eyes to listen.

I am a bicyclist… with little to no affinity for motorcycles… but this song still really appeals – love, tragedy, a sweet humanly-strained vocal, arranged very simply, and plenty of clever rhymes including this, slightly awkward, slightly wonderful one:

that’s a fine motorbike
a girl could feel special on any such like

I like that the policeman ultimately looks out for the dying outlaw, too – in that the police sergeant contacts his wife when he’s dying. 

I used to listen to that album over and over in the 1990s, and I haven’t heard it in a while. I love the Vincent Black Lightning song, also I Feel So Good, I Misunderstood, and Read About Love.

I think I first heard these songs on Deirdre O’Donoghue’s KCRW program SNAP, which ended around 1991. That show set a lot of my musical tastes for a long time.

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