45 45s #27 Jacky – White horses (Old Gold, 1990; originally issued by Philips, 1968)

White horsesA totally sentimental and possibly even a soppy choice, this one – a song from my childhood which I rediscovered when I found it in a charity shop in the form of a 1990 reissue.  The UK theme tune to Slovenian and German TV co-production The white horses, it brings back my earliest televisual memories, although I can’t honestly say I remember all that much about the series.  Written by Michael Carr and Ben Nisbet, it was performed by Irish singer Jackie Lee, who among other things was a member of sixties vocal quartet the Raindrops, had a song of hers covered by the Beatles circa 1962, and (credited as Emma Rede) sang ‘I Gotta Be With You’, beloved of Northern Soul aficionados.  Not only that, but as a session singer she provided backing vocals for both Tom Jones’ ‘Green Green Grass of Home’ and Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Hey Joe’.

‘White horses’ has a lovely, cantering melody, sung breathily and with beautiful restraint by Jackie, who double-tracked her voice and added some gorgeously perfect harmonies.  I’m not the only one who’s sentimental and soppy about it, for among those who have covered the song are Cerys Matthews, Kitchens Of Distinction, the Trashcan Sinatras, Dean & Britta, Sophisticated Boom Boom, and Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike, the latter two both for Peel sessions.  Which makes the choice seem less soppy, or microcosmically characteristic at least of a certain generation of indie-pop.  I guess they all grew up with it too.

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