Light in the Attic has shared a previously unreleased 1965 Lou Reed demo, "Men of Good Fortune," from the upcoming Words & Music, May 1965. It's the same title as a song on Lou Reed's 1973 album Berlin, but not the same song. Archivists Jason Stern and Don Fleming say it was presumably inspired by the same traditional English and Scottish Child Ballads that informed Simon & Garfunkel’s "Scarborough Fair" and Bob Dylan’s "Girl from the North Country." Via press release:

“‘Men of Good Fortune’ has every trademark of one of the traditional Child Ballads from England and Scotland dating back for centuries and passed on from person to person,” says archivists Jason Stern and Don Fleming. “They had rarely been documented in print but were finally compiled in Francis James Child’s landmark book, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, published between 1882 and 1898. The Child Ballads were a great source of inspiration for folk artists in the early 1960s, with Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Fairport Convention borrowing heavily from the book. Child Ballad #2, ‘The Elfin Knight,’ through a series of other singers, informed Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough Fair’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Girl from the North Country.’ Child Ballad #2 and many others include a ‘maiden’ or ‘maid,’ as Reed portrays himself in the song. It’s notable how the words to this version of ‘Men of Good Fortune’ could seemingly fit right in as a variant of a Child Ballad, but it doesn’t appear to borrow lines from the book or other songs, traditional or popular. Reed sings and plays the song alone.”

The album comes out September 16, and you can pre-order it on vinyl or cassette. Listen to "Men of Good Fortune" below.

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