Under Cover (May 2015) – The Water Is Wide and One Grain Of Sand


This month's free Under Cover downloads are takes on a couple of traditional-ish folk songs: The Water Is Wide and One Grain Of Sand. The Water Is Wide is a true traditional. I think it has been traced back to an 17th century Scottish folk song. It was brought to us by the director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, LA Confidential, Too Big To Fail) who asked us to record a version for the closing credits to his film The River Wild. The first version that we sent to him (the one available as one of this months Under Cover downloads) was sent back to us with the comment that it was too sad, too downbeat. I guess Hollywood wasn't quite ready for us (or maybe it was the other way around). So we recorded another version that stepped it up a bit and it was accepted and we got paid. But we've always preferred the slower version, it just seems to bring out the sentiment of the song in a more powerful way.

I was first introduced to Ivy Mairi when she was just about to graduate from high-school. A mutual friend, Anne Bourne cellist-to-the-stars, brought her in to my studio. Anne had heard her singing at a couple of community gatherings and was completely taken by her, as was I. One Grain Of Sand was the first song that she played for me on that day and this is the recording. The song was written by Pete Seeger and Ivy was excited for him to hear it, so she sent it off to him. To his credit, the old-axe-wielder responded to her note, but he snarked something about folk music being something that the masses are supposed to be able to sing along to and not something to be interpreted from the heart (I'm paraphrasing, but he wasn't too keen on Dylan and that electric guitar either, so I think I'm capturing the sentiment of his note). It's a beautiful recording, completely naïve and open, exactly what folk music should be.

You can download The Water Is Wide and One Grain Of Sand for free until June 15th off of the Latent facebook page.