Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The Incredible String Band.
Track 3 on Side 1 of the LP is a minor masterpiece called “Painting Box”. It is a typically cheerful tonal Mike Heron composition, but this one is truly outstanding. The credits read: “Mike Heron, lead vocal& guitar; Robin Williamson, lead guitar, flute & vocal, Licorice vocal & finger cymbals; Danny Thompson [see above], bass”.
The ensemble refrain is a hearty thing with these words:
“For somewhere in my mind there is a painting box; I have every colour there it’s true. Just lately when I look inside my painting box I seem to pick the colours of you.”
There are three verses, the song commencing with the first and ending with the chorus:
“When the morning of your eyes comes waking through my shadows, leaving just a trace of twilight sleep;
I whisper to the baby raindrops playing on my window, and tell them gently, This is not the time that they should weep.
My Friday evening’s footsteps plodding dully through this black town Are far away now from the world that I’m in,
My eyes are listening to some sounds that I think just might be springtime, With daffodils between my toes I am laughing at their whim.
The purple sail above me catches all the strength of summer. Fishes stop and ask me where I am bound.
I smile and shake my head and say my little ship is sinking, But I kind of like the sea that I’m on and I don’t mind if I do drown.”
The band, comprising just the two chaps, performed this song on UK TV in 1967 on the Julie Felix show, with her joining in effectively taking the Licorice vocals. I am fortunate enough to have a DVD which includes a video recording of this, and it is indeed pure joy to watch.
It was a perfect choice for a single, but sadly it did not chart: