Guest Vocalist: Jordan Melnick on Tim Hardin’s “Black Sheep Boy”

21 Jul

Tim Hardin in '69 near Woodstock

By Jordan Melnick

“Here I am back home again.”

From its forlorn opening line, Tim Hardin’s “Black Sheep Boy” absolutely nails the feeling of facing the folks who knew you before you went through some profound changes. It reminds me of “The Graduate” sans the humor and the irony.

Part of the brilliance of the tune is that the listener is in much the same position as the singer’s kinfolk, i.e., out of the loop. They (and we) know he’s “been West,” but not exactly where. When they inquire (on our behalf), he complains, “All they ask is where I’ve been,” as if their curiosity were unjustified. Disaffected and feeling misunderstood, he wishes to be let alone: “I’m here to rest,” he says.

Problem is, you can’t go home.

To read the rest of this story, visit Jordan Melnick’s homepage.

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