“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack (1972)

Here’s a song I don’t have a lot to say about. It’s very pretty. Roberta Flack doesn’t get a lot of credit as a great interpreter of lyrics. Mainly because there’s still a little thing in my head that says “she writes all her own songs”, yet the three songs I most associate with her (“Killing Me Softly”, “The Closer I Get To You” and this) were all written by others. “The First Time…” was written by Ewan Maccoll, the father of Kirsty Maccoll (the female voice on “Fairytale Of New York”). Whatever. Roberta sings it beautifully enough to make it her song. There are fantastic covers by everyone from Celine Dion to George Michael to whoever sang it in the Oil Of Olay commercial (I mean, the song has become a standard at this point), but Roberta’s is the one by which all others are measured.

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