Seattle-area MeFite y2karl outdoes himself with a comprehensive dissertation and linkfest concerning Dark Was The Night–Cold Was The Ground as performed by Blind Willie Johnson and later adapted as the main musical theme for the Wim Wenders film Paris, Texas, by Ry Cooder.

Among other things, Karl points to a source who notes that the song is based on a hymn first published in 1792, and that elements of Blind Willie Johnson’s singing style are drawn from an ancient praise-song technique known as precenting the line, which apparently remains in use in certain remote areas of Scotland and the American South.

A truly remarkable post.