Gregorian - Lady D'Arbanville (Cat Stevens Cover)
From '' Masters Of Chant Chapter II ''
Label: Edel Records -- 0130792ERE
Released: 15 Oct 2001
01. Moment Of Peace
Vocals -- Sarah Brightman
Written-By -- Carsten Heusmann
02. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Written-By -- Ewan Maccoll
03. In The Air Tonight
Written-By -- Phil Collins
04. Bonny Portmore
Written-By -- Traditional
Written-By -- John Lees
06. Child In Time
Written-By -- Deep Purple
07. Everybody Gotta Learn Sometimes
Written-By -- Andy Davis, James Warren
08. Wish You Were Here
Written-By -- David Gilmour, Roger Waters
09. Lady D'Arbanville
Written-By -- Cat Stevens
10. Heaven Can Wait
Written-By -- Marvin Lee Aday
Written-By -- Traditional
12. Stairway To Heaven
Written-By -- Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
''Lady D'Arbanville'' is a song written and recorded by Cat Stevens, and released in April, 1970.
He was already a successful songwriter, and this was his first single released upon signing a contract with Island Records, with the encouragement of his new producer, Paul Samwell-Smith, fostering a folk rock direction for the young composer.
"Lady D'Arbanville" has a madrigal sound, and was written about Stevens' former girlfriend, Patti D'Arbanville, metaphorically laying her to rest.
"Lady D'Arbanville" was the first single released from Stevens' third album, Mona Bone Jakon, which took off in a completely different direction from the songs of his previous two albums.
Although Stevens' debut album had charted, and while both albums he'd recorded had successful single releases in the British pop music charts, he chafed against the "Carnaby Street musical jangle" and "heavy handed orchestration" that his producer, Mike Hurst (of Deram Records) favoured.
Just at the completion of his second album with Hurst, Stevens contracted tuberculosis and a collapsed lung, requiring hospitalisation and rest for a year.
During this time, he spent his empty hours writing over 40 songs, and upon a clean bill of health successfully negotiated out of his Deram contract, and settled on Island Records' Paul Samwell-Smith as his new producer, who encouraged Stevens' inclinations towards an emerging folk rock genre.
As Stevens was nearing the end of his period of recuperation, he attended a party that boasted a gathering of musicians in London; including Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton, and others in attendance.
Among the party-goers was an American teenager who was pursuing a modelling career named Patti D'Arbanville.
The two began dating over a period of more than a year. D'Arbanville stayed with him whenever she was in London, but often found her career taking her to Paris, and New York City. Unfortunately, after over a year with her, Stevens was willing to invest more in a serious relationship than his young, ambitious girlfriend.
It was on such a foray to New York that she heard his song about her on the airwaves.
Her reaction was one of sadness. She said, "I just have to be by myself for a while to do what I want to do. It's good to be alone sometimes. Look, Steven wrote that song when I left for New York.
I left for a month, it wasn't the end of the world was it? But he wrote this whole song about 'Lady D'Arbanville, why do you sleep so still.'
It's about me dead. So while I was in New York, for him it was like I was lying in a coffin... he wrote that because he missed me, because he was down... It's a sad song."
D'Arbanville continues, "I cried when I heard it, because that's when I knew it was over for good."
Musical genre and sound
While Stevens' previous singles featured orchestration, this was the first single to contain only acoustic guitars, bass, percussion, and vocals.
Newly-hired Alun Davies, initially brought in as a session guitarist, shared Stevens' love for the newly emerging folk rock sound that Stevens chose to pursue.
The two guitarists worked with John Ryan's syncopated basslines and drummer Harvey Burns' latin rhythms were used to emphasize the beat of the song on the body of the guitar.
Stevens said of it later, that "the name itself was intriguing", and that "it was one of the unique songs that stood out, even lyrically".
The song had a unique arrangement, and melody as well.
The song was singular enough to reach #8 on the British pop music chart, and became the first to get noticeable airplay in the United States.
"Lady D'Arbanville" was issued in June 1970 and became his third Top Ten hit in the United Kingdom, with the album Mona Bone Jakon, beginning a modest climb up the charts as well.
Version from Elton John
Elton John also performed a version of "Lady D'Arbanville" for a covers record.
His version has him singing "You will be my pill", instead of the original lyrics.