“Dark Harbor” was written in the house that the Fonvielles owned in the village of Dark Harbor, Maine, on the island of Islesboro in upper Penobscot Bay. Originally built as the guest house of Ruth Draper, a famous performing artist, a monologuist, in the 1920s, the house, a classic “summer cottage,” had a long lawn running down to a small dock. It was a lovely setting.
Hugh writes: “I was upstairs in a bedroom fooling around with my guitar and a strange melody and chords emerged. I refined them and went downstairs to show Lloyd. Meanwhile, he had been sitting in the living room writing a poem. Astoundingly, the music and the words fit together and the song was born. I¹m almost positive the year was 1970, summertime.”
This version was recorded in the deserted lobby of Hilton Garden Inn about 2am, after the day’s service and the evening’s gathering with its eating and drinking and talking and singing.
Hugh and I were the last to retire.
But, Lloyd, as would please him, had the last words.
— Cotty Chubb
©1973, Lloyd Fonvielle & Hugh McCarten
(If you can’t get the song to play in this post, you can find it here.)