The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
Dink's Song / Loch Lomond

Dink's Song / Loch Lomond

#136 / Oct. 21 Podcast

More than a hundred years ago, musicologist John Lomax recorded an African American woman named "Dink" singing a song as she washed her man's clothes in a Texas work camp on the banks of the Brazos River near Houston.

Lomax and his son, Alan, were the first to publish it, including it in American Ballads and Folk Songs, which Macmillan brought out in 1934.

A decade later, the great Josh White put the song on his first album. Since then, it has been recorded by scores of performers — Pete Seeger and Cisco Houston, Bob Dylan and Fred Neil — sometimes as "Fare Thee Well," but most often simply as "Dink's Song."

Now flash forward three quarters of a century and a highlight of Joel and Ethan Coen’s extraordinary 2013 film “Inside Llewyn Davis,” set in one winter’s week in 1961 Greenwich Village, is Oscar Isaac, in the title role, performing a moody rendition of the same tune.

That moment especially resonates with all us folk music lovers, because most of us learned the song from a 1960s recording by the late folk genius Dave Van Ronk, whose work seems to have inspired the Coens’ film in the first place. Dear Dave. They didn’t call him “the mayor of MacDougal Street” for nothing.

Our Take on the Tune

Have you ever notice the magic in folk melodies, that they are both ancient and stunningly contemporary at the same time?

And the magic doesn’t end there. Besides their wonderful timelessness, these well-worn melodies also are almost universal in their emotional appeal.

This song has floated around the Floodisphere for many years, but it didn’t really take flight until Vanessa came along to blend it with a soulful Old World aire, and then Randy stepped up to take the lead on the vocals. Here, with pensive soloing by Dan and Sam, is our merging of the thoroughly American “Dink’s Song” and the lovely Scottish “Loch Lomond.”

The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
Each week The 1937 Flood, West Virginia's most eclectic string band, offers a free tune from a recent rehearsal, show or jam session. Music styles range from blues and jazz to folk, hokum, ballad and old-time. All the podcasts, dating back to 2008, are archived on our website; you and use the archive for free at: