Expanding on Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man”

After watching the barrel-organ player in Bruges, Belgium, I kept replaying the 1968 Donovan song “Hurdy Gurdy Man” over and over in my head.  (A hurdy gurdy is like a small version of a barrel organ.)

The Barrel-Organ Man of Bruges, Belgium

The Barrel-Organ Man of Bruges, Belgium

Histories of ages past/Unenlightened shadows cast/Down through all eternity/The crying of humanity.

‘Tis then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man/Comes singing songs of love. . .

In Donovan’s song, the hurdy gurdy man seems very much a messianic figure.  Is the friendly entertainer in Bruges more than just a hurdy gurdy player?  He definitely seems to be playing ‘songs of love.’

I’ve always wondered why writers don’t add more verses to their songs, particularly for their performances.  So I thought I might add a couple of verses to the Donovan classic:

Visions stir mired dreams/Prophets seek polar seams/Experience the fantasies of time/Constant wails of empty crime

‘Tis then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man/Comes singing songs of love . . .

Next verse, much the same as the first:

Floating lives of empty rafts/Pushed around by vacant drafts/Circling round in lofty search/Aerial homes for an eternal perch.

‘Tis then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man/Comes singing songs of love . . .

With my apologies to Donovan.

Donovan, 60s and 70s Icon

Donovan, 60s and 70s Icon

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