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1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Richard Thompson Lyrics


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.

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Richard Thompson

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Julie Biddle

I've always loved this song but I felt it needed another verse, so in the spirit of the "folk process" I've written one.
Come down young James, said Red Molly, it's your 17th year
There's breakfast on the table and a story to hear
I'll tell you of your father's last night in this world
Before I was your Mother, just a red headed girl
He wasn't any saint and he died just as he lived
He had one precious treasure in his life to give,
And she took young James outside
And gave him his father's Vincent to ride!



RichardFeynmanRules

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.



All comments from YouTube:

MerkinMuffly

One of the true masters of the acoustic guitar, if quality of work had anything to do with album sales, Thompson would be a billionaire.

John Morris

I love the autocorrect... natural comic timing is hard to come by

John Morris

@Julie Alexander Ah yes Norma, Jorma's overlooked sister

Luis Williams

One of my all time favorites, his electric isn't bad either

Chris Irving

No kidding . Saw him live once. It was so memorable..I can’t remember it I’m getting old

Andrew McMINN

The only reason I haven't learned to play the guitar is I know I won't be half as that perfmance.

18 More Replies...

Julie Biddle

I've always loved this song but I felt it needed another verse, so in the spirit of the "folk process" I've written one.
Come down young James, said Red Molly, it's your 17th year
There's breakfast on the table and a story to hear
I'll tell you of your father's last night in this world
Before I was your Mother, just a red headed girl
He wasn't any saint and he died just as he lived
He had one precious treasure in his life to give,
And she took young James outside
And gave him his father's Vincent to ride!

Peter Sampson

Really love that Julie (as a biker - even though Richard disses Triumph's in this version!). Reading it out to my wife just made her cry, big time - I somehow had a dampening eye too. Please may I send this to a folkie friend of mine (credited to you of course) who sometimes sings this song of Richards, so that she may add it as a final verse when she sings?

Chris E.

Dear Julie, I'm a performing musician and this song is one of my covers. I've seen you fantastic contribution and even if Richard Thompson doesn't acknowledge it.. I will. with a few slight changes I'm including it in the song with a spoken credit to you before singing the last verse!.. well done!

Paul Martin

Brilliant, Julie! I too will be adding it to my own mediocre version, with your permission - and hopefully RT's too! An idea: in the last line, wouldn't a more subtle "the Vincent" be sufficient? "Spirit of the folk process," yes indeed! I'm sure RT would approve - ah but, the royalties...?! Good on yer.

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