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Morning Train of Thought leads to the “Hurdy Gurdy Man”…singing songs of love!

Now this morning the several events caught my attention. First in 1961 Dylan landed his first gig opening for the Greenbrier Boys at Gerde’s Folk City in New York. It was a two-week gig! Then for some reason the release in 1964 of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” got that song rolling around in my head. After that, I  spotted the fact, that on this date in 1984 Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” climbed to No 1 on the charts!  And that song replaced The Kinks song on my mind’s jukebox and then again for some unexplained reason (possibly my ADD kicking in) the jukebox switched to Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man”

Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love.
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy he sang.

Now here;s the scoop on “Hurdy Gurdy Man” from Wikipedia:

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” is a song by the Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan. It was written and recorded in early 1968 and released in May as a single. It gave its name to the album The Hurdy Gurdy Man, which was released in October of that year. The single reached No.5 in the U.S. and No.4 in the UK pop charts.[2] The song was written for the band Hurdy Gurdy (which included Donovan’s old friend and guitar mentor Mac MacLeod)[3][4] with Donovan intending to be the producer, but due to creative disagreements this collaboration was cancelled, and Donovan recorded the song himself.Read More

But the aspect of the song that sent my mind a reeling and heading again to Wikipedia was: What the hell is a Hurdy Gurdy???….. When I read what it was, I thought yeah, that sounds familiar! Yes, just something else lost in the vast empty recesses of my mind…….

The hurdy gurdy or hurdy-gurdy is a stringed musical instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents (small wedges, typically made of wood) against one or more of the strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic stringed instruments, it has a sound board to make the vibration of the strings audible.


Most hurdy gurdies have multiple drone strings, which give a constant pitch accompaniment to the melody, resulting in a sound similar to that of bagpipes. For this reason, the hurdy gurdy is often used interchangeably or along with bagpipes, particularly in French and contemporary Hungarian and Galician folk music.


Many folk music festivals in Europe feature music groups with hurdy gurdy players, with the most famous annual festival occurring at Saint-Chartier, in the Indre département, in central France, during the week nearest July 14 (Bastille Day)  Read More 

Here are two pictures of Hurdy Gurdies.

Hurdy Gurday1


Hurdy Gurdy2

And now we know or do we remember??? Here’s Donovan performing the song in 1968…..