1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Iain Banks, The Richard Thompson Band, Richard Thompson

About 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

"1952 Vincent Black Lightning" is a song by guitarist Richard Thompson from his 1991 album Rumor and Sigh. It tells the story of a thief named James and the girl Red Molly whom he charms with a ride on his 1952 Vincent Black Lightning motorcycle. In 2011 Time magazine listed the song in its "All TIME 100 Songs", a list of "the most extraordinary English-language popular recordings since the beginning of TIME magazine in 1923," praising it as "a glorious example of what one guy can accomplish with just a guitar, a voice, an imagination and a set of astonishingly nimble fingers. "Despite not being issued as a single, the ballad became a fan favourite and is one of Thompson's most highly acclaimed solo compositions. A live version of the song appears on Thompson's album Two Letter Words: Live 1994. The band Red Molly, who has covered the song, takes its name from the lead female character in the song. 


Year:
1996
5:04
486 
#3

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Says Red Molly, to James, "Well that's a fine motorbike.
A girl could feel special on any such like."
Says James, to Red Molly, "My hat's off to you.
It's a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952.

And I've seen you on the corners and cafes, it seems.
Red hair and black leather, my favorite color scheme."
And he pulled her on behind,
And down to Boxhill,

They'd Ride.
Says James, to Red Molly, "Here's a ring for your right hand.
But I'll tell you in earnest I'm a dangerous man;
For I've fought with the law since I was seventeen.

I've robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine.
And now I'm twenty-one years, I might make twenty-two.
And I don't mind dyin' but for the love of you.
But if fate should break my stride, then I'll give you my Vincent, To Ride."

"Come down Red Molly," called Sargent McQuade.
"For they've taken young James Aidee for Armed Robbery.
Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside.
Oh, come down, Red Molly, to his dying bedside."

When she came to the hospital, there wasn't much left.
He was runnin' out of road. He was runnin' out of breath.
But he smiled, to see her cry.
And said, "I'll give you my Vincent.
To Ride."

Said James, "In my opinion, there's nothing in this world
Beats a '52 Vincent and a Redheaded girl.
Now Nortons and Indians and Greavses won't do.
Oh, they don't have a Soul like a Vincent '52."

Well he reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys.
He said, "I've got no further use...for these.
I see Angels on Ariels in leather and chrome,
Swoopin' down from Heaven to carry me home."

And he gave her one last kiss and died.
And he gave her his Vincent.
To Ride.

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Richard Thompson

Richard John Thompson OBE (born 3 April 1949, Notting Hill, London) is a British songwriter, guitarist and recording and performing musician. Highly regarded for his guitar techniques and strange, darkly-funny lyrics, Thompson was awarded the Orville H. Gibson award for best acoustic guitar player in 1991. Similarly, his songwriting has earned him an Ivor Novello Award and, in 2006, a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio. Artists who have recorded Thompson's compositions include such diverse talents as Robert Plant, Del McCoury, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Christy Moore, David Gilmour, Mary Black, Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw, The Corrs, Sandy Denny, June Tabor, Joel Fafard, Maria McKee, Shawn Colvin, Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, Nanci Griffith, Graham … more »

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Written by: Richard Thompson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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