Listen here: “Darkness, Darkness” – The Youngbloods (1969)

An intense, perhaps depressing, but beautiful song. “Darkness, Darkness” was written by Jesse Colin Young in 1969, and released by The Youngblood‘s on their 1969 album Elephant Mountain. It has been frequently covered.

At the time the group consisted of Young (bass, lead vocals, acoustic guitar); Lowell Levinger (guitar, backing vocals, electric piano); and Joe Bauer (drums).

They put out a version as a single twice:  in 1969 it reached #124 on the Billboard chart,  and in 1970 it went to #86.

Young had this to say about writing the song:

I spent one sleepless night thinking about my friends who were in Vietnam and how terrifying it must be. So much of the fighting was done at night and ‘Darkness Darkness’ came out of that sleepless night. I tried to put myself in their shoes.

One note states that it was considered an “anthem” to many soldiers in the war  for the way it described what they felt while in the jungles. I could see that.

Darkness darkness, be my blanket
Cover my with the endless night
Take away away the pain of knowing
Fill the emptiness of right now
The emptiness of right now
Fill the emptiness of right now

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