Although not the first -I particularly enjoy Bert Janch’s version of Black waterside
Down by Blackwaterside (also known as Blackwaterside, Blackwater Side and Black Waterside) is a traditional folk song, provenance and author unknown, although it is likely to have originated near the River Blackwater, Ulster. The song has been covered by numerous artists including Isla Cameron, Anne Briggs, Bert Jansch, Sandy Denny, Show of Hands, Oysterband, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, particularly during the folk music boom in Britain in the 1960s. It tells the story of a woman who has her heart broken “down by Blackwaterside” when a suitor breaks his promise of marriage, although she still has hopes the suitor will change his mind one day.
Al Stewart, who had arrived in London in early 1965, followed Jansch’s gigs closely and learnt what he thought was Jansch’s version of “Black Waterside.” However, he believed mistakenly that Jansch was usingDADGAD tuning whereas he was using in fact ‘drop-D‘ tuning. At the time, Stewart was recording his own debut record and had engaged Jimmy Page as a session musician. According to Stewart’s account, it was he (Stewart) who taught Page “Blackwaterside” (the DADGAD version) during a tea-break. This may even have been Page’s first acquaintance with DADGAD.
Another of my favourite versions from Anne Briggs:
And from Sandy Denny
This time without the vocals, White Summer/Blackwaterside from Jimmy Page:
and just to finish off this short introduction, a later version of Blackwaterside by Bert Jansch at the Crossroads guitar festival in 2010