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Old 04-02-2000, 12:54 PM   #1
Barry
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I would like to find the chords to the song "Black Fly"
(chorus): Black fly, little black fly, always the black fly no matter where you go
I'll die with the black fly picking my bones
In North Ontario-io
In North Ontario

I think it's a Lightfoot song (could it maybe be Ian Tyson?), but it's not listed in his song listings, so possibly he never recorded it.
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Old 04-02-2000, 12:54 PM   #2
Barry
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I would like to find the chords to the song "Black Fly"
(chorus): Black fly, little black fly, always the black fly no matter where you go
I'll die with the black fly picking my bones
In North Ontario-io
In North Ontario

I think it's a Lightfoot song (could it maybe be Ian Tyson?), but it's not listed in his song listings, so possibly he never recorded it.
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Old 04-03-2000, 06:48 PM   #3
Arno
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I could be wrong, but I think "Black Fly" was written by Stompin' Tom Connors, another Canadian institution. I've heard him sing it,at least.
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Old 04-03-2000, 06:48 PM   #4
Arno
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I could be wrong, but I think "Black Fly" was written by Stompin' Tom Connors, another Canadian institution. I've heard him sing it,at least.
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Old 04-10-2000, 11:26 AM   #5
Florian
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Hi Barry,
Hi Arno,

I have a CD called "The Travellers 1960-1966, This Land Is Your Land".

On this CD, The Travellers perform the song "Black Fly".

In the liner notes I found the following:

"The humorous "Black Flies" had been written by Montrealer Wade Hemsworth after a particularly unpleasant sojourn in northern Ontario in 1949 with a Hydro survey team."

I have searched a little bit around the 'net, but couldn't find the chords to this song anywhere.

To bring this subject "on-topic", I wonder if they had an influence over the young Gordon Lightfoot?

In the liner notes I've read that they had a big success in the fifties and early sixties, paving the ground for Canadian folk songs. Their rendition of "This Land Is Your Land" (using Canadian landmarks) was supposedly one of the first songs that celebrated Canada in its lyrics.
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Old 04-11-2000, 04:40 PM   #6
Barry
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Hi Florian, hi Arno,

Thank you for your replies. Yours, Florian, seems more likely, and I guess I must have been on a wild goose chase. I heard "Black Fly" in the sixties in Canada (which is one reason that I don't think it could be by Stompin' Tom, since I don't think he was performing back then). I don't know why I thought Gordon Lightfoot had written it; perhaps he performed it in a concert.

Anyway, thanks again.

Barry
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Old 04-11-2000, 04:40 PM   #7
Barry
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Hi Florian, hi Arno,

Thank you for your replies. Yours, Florian, seems more likely, and I guess I must have been on a wild goose chase. I heard "Black Fly" in the sixties in Canada (which is one reason that I don't think it could be by Stompin' Tom, since I don't think he was performing back then). I don't know why I thought Gordon Lightfoot had written it; perhaps he performed it in a concert.

Anyway, thanks again.

Barry
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:21 PM   #8
zood
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Default Re: Song "Black Fly"

I heard this song in the 50,s and it was sung by a group called The Couriers
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
geodeticman.5
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Default Re: Song "Black Fly"

Hi guys - looks like you've resolved your question much further than these rough corrolations, but I thought perhaps they might answer a lingering type question in your mind like "yeah , ok, but I could swear I've heard the north on-Tar-IO somewhere in Lightfoot's work, which brought to mind Lightfoot's song 'Cabaret' relevant portion of lyrics here:

Quote:
And still I'd (G) like to tell her
(D) That I miss her (Em) so, in (A) north Ontari(D)o (G6) (D) (G6)

If you're driving east to Reno or north to Mendecino

- Cabaret
Note: the tonal inflection in the above snippet(pardon my illiterate phonetics):

north on TAr Io - where the inflection up is on the I of Io, quite similar to the question posed above that had enough lyrics from clearly a non-Lightfoot song to eliminate GL's song Cabaret, from which I 'snipped' this.
I thought it might fill-in-the-blank on the thoughts reminiscent of a Lightfoot song. similar enough only in one spot from your song:


Quote:
Barry I would like to find the chords to the song "Black Fly"
(chorus): Black fly, little black fly, always the black fly no matter where you go
I'll die with the black fly picking my bones
In North Ontario-io
In North Ontario

I think it's a Lightfoot song (could it maybe be Ian Tyson?),
The italicized and highlighted portion of your song seems to connect to Lightfoot simply in the pronunciation of the on-tar-IO.

ONE OTHER THOUGHT : - There is a song from the early 60's -or so- lol (I was born in '58 and remember playing on my little blue and white high-impact polystyrene record player, which I had when I was around 8 - so that would put the slbum at '66 or so, it was a Self-Titled album From 'The Sandpipers' - who sang a song called 'Spanish Fly' I believe - it had a lot of airplay on the Percy Faith 'A Summer place' -type stations on AM back then. As I recall. they did covers on all the songs on the album, and the only reason I mention it, is the fact that I remember 42 years later from that album the Spanish Fly, which could very easily have been 'Black Fly' that far back in memory. Also on the album, should you wish to identify it, is it haf a cover of an Andy Williams-type song 'Quando Mi Namoro (QUITE LIKELY BOTCHED-UP SPANISH)

Thats all I've got, I think you guys have allready greatly surpassed my contribution, but hope fully it might dispell a remaiing loose end tugging at your mind.

Also, as far as looking for a Gordon Lightfoot authority on his works: Florian is the man.

Best of luck in your quest. As I had a tour of duty (so to speak) through both Manitoba and Saskatchewan in early summer. I do have horrible memories of erecting the tentpoles up in record tie to get out of the flies - when you hit one, a person 15 feet away could hear the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ-THUD Zz. --------- Those suckers were BIG !
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Quote to ponder: "A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed." ~ Henrik Ibsen

Last edited by geodeticman.5; 03-03-2009 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:56 PM   #10
lighthead2toe
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Default Re: Song "Black Fly"

I'd be happy to help you with this Barry.

I worked in a Toronto band in the 60's 70's and the Black Fly Song was a popular request so it was played regularly in our gigs..

If you go to : www.chordie.com you can get the lyrics if you look up under "H" for Wade Hemsworth, the composer. They don't provide chords for this tune which is unusual, as I refer to that site frequently for chords, but the ones I used came back to me quickly. I played it in a "C" position with the capo on the second fret.

So starting off it would be:

(C) Twas early in the spring when I decide to go
For to (F) work up in the woods in (G7) North Ontario
The (C) unemployment office said they'd send me through
To the (F) Little Abi-tibi with the (G7) survey crew.

Chorus:

And the (AM) black flies, the little black flies
Always a black fly, no matter where you go
I'll (DM) die with the black fly a-picking my bones
In north On-tar-i-(AM)o-i-o, (E) North Ontari-(AM)-o.

Then to finish the song we would repeat the chorus and on the very last note of
"Ontario" we would finish with a strong strum on the (A Major) chord.
So it would be "North Ontari-(Amajor)-o.

Good luck and make sure it's fun.

Cheers, RJ.
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