The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

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Rating: 3.7 Stars3.7 Stars3.7 Stars3.7 Stars
Words & Music: Ewan McColl
The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the empty skies my love
To the dark and the empty skies

The first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move in my hands
Like a trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command my love
That was there at my command

Hoa hoa hoa oh oh oh oh oh oh
Woh oh oh oh hoa hoa hoa
Oh hoa hoa hoa hoa hoa hoa
That was there at my command my love
That was there at my command

The first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move in my hands
Like a trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command my love
That was there at my command

Hoa hoa hoa oh oh oh oh oh oh
Woh oh oh oh hoa hoa hoa
Oh hoa hoa hoa hoa hoa hoa
That was there at my command my love
That was there at my command
Recorded: 1971/03/15, first released on single

Reactions

sugartummy (profilecontact) wrote on May 18, 2013report abuse
The author said that if he wanted a laugh, he could always listen to Elvis singing The first time. I kinda like it, but a more bare arrangment like Peter, Paul and Mary's would perhaps have been better.
ElvisSacramento (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 23, 2012report abuse
This is such a beautiful song and the only Elvis versions of it that I like are the August 16, 1974 rehearsal and the live on stage versions from 1973 all the way until 1976 due to the extra verse added and his many great live on stage renditions of it in that 1973-1976 time span.
Gorse (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 30, 2012report abuse
The Roberta Flack version was brilliant but I also really enjoy the Elvis version. I like the voice soaring during the chorus reminiscent of The Wonder of You, and for me it is a 5 star production. There are a couple of interesting recordings of this song where he does duets with Temple Riser and Ginger Holladay.
KingKreole (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 12, 2012report abuse
It really is a terrible arrangement. I think Elvis could have done a fantastic version of this, and maybe there is a really great live version out there somewhere, but the studio version we all know is not very good at all. There was a terrible TV movie years ago called "Elvis and the Beauty Queen" about Elvis and Linda Thompson. Don Johnson (shockingly) played Elvis and Stephanie Zimbalist played Linda. In the movie, Elvis performs "First Time Ever..." on stage and it is a better version than the real Elvis version. Not sure who they had doing the vocal for the movie (an Elvis sound-alike) but it was a better arrangement. It's a shame. I wonder if someone could strip away everything but Elvis' voice and create the right arrangement.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 11, 2012report abuse
Terrible arrangement. I don't like it either and don't get me started on the dreadful duet!
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 11, 2012report abuse
Like the song, but not Elvis' version of it. In fact I dislike it. Would never have been a hit. Once you hear Roberta Flack, this is like another song all together. Roberta wins by a mile.
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 11, 2012report abuse
fantastic song but Elvis' version of 1971 just doesn't do it for me. Too fast and too bombastic. I prefer his live version from 1976 inspite of the angry end; his approach of this song is much more simple here, just like the unbeatable versions of this song from Roberta Flack and Johnny Cash.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 5, 2010report abuse
A beautiful rendition of a song Robert Flack made famous. RCA really goofed on this one. Elvis recorded it in 1971 and it was held for a year before it was released. In that time Ms Flack's version was released and hit #1 for 6 wekkes (Spring of 72). If they had released it as a single instead of "It's Only Love" and properly promoted it, Elvis would have had a big hit. This song should have been on the LP "Elvis Now" instead of songs like "Sylvia", "Hey Jude" and "I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago".
Stevekimb1 (profilecontact) wrote on May 31, 2008report abuse
Probably the best of the Big Bombastic Ballads of the 70's ranking up there with My Way, It's Impossible, The Impossible Dream and Bridge Over Troubled Water. Seldom heard but worth finding.

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