From the recording The Road Out of Town

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"The Blackest Crow" is a variant of several other variant songs such as "The True Lover's Farewell," "My Dearest Dear," "The Thousand Miles," etc. It is made up entirely of what are referred to as "floating verses," lyrics which can be inserted into almost any song, regardless of whatever story is being told. The second verse, referring to the lonesome dove, is what we have dubbed the "universal mourning verse." These words appear over and over in songs ranging from 18th century English ballads to 20th century Country & Western.

Since the melodies were so similar, we paired the song with "Star of the County Down," which is a bit of a floater itself. It belongs to a large family of tunes, which includes, among others, the Scottish "Gilderoy." A star, in Irish vernacular, is a beautiful woman, a likely subject for a singer of "The Blackest Crow." "The Star of the County Down" takes its name from Downpatrick, where St. Patrick is said to have been buried