Since rediscovering the Eagles awhile back, I’ve been running across some strange connections to them in places I would never have expected to find any.
Take, for example, “Silver Dagger”, a lovely traditional mountain ballad, which first appeared in print in 1907, but is probably some decades older, dating from the second half of the nineteenth century if not earlier. Popularized by Joan Baez in the 1960s (she joked that it was “one of Bob [Dylan]’s earlier tunes”), it’s one of the showpieces of Dolly Parton’s brilliant 1999 bluegrass CD, The Grass Is Blue.
According to Wiki and several other sources, though, the Eagles, during the 1970s tenure of founding members Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner–both of whom were strongly grounded in country and bluegrass–used to use the third verse as an acappella lead-in to “Take It Easy”:
My daddy is a handsome devil
He’s got a chain five miles long
On every link a heart does dangle
Of another maid he’s loved and wronged. . .
(Third verse, that is, of the most usually performed version–Baez’s. The original ballad, like many traditional ones, has many more verses.)
No doubt, it would be stunning in four parts–