Judy Collins' father, Charles Thomas Collins, was a blind singer, pianist and radio show host. This song, which tells the story of a miner who goes to live in France, is fictional but inspired by her dad. Sadly, he died a month after Collins wrote the song and never got to hear it.
Collins recalled the story of the song to Mojo magazine:
"I wrote it in April '68. I called (folk singer) Tom Glazer and sent it to him, but didn't call my father; and my father died on May 4th, he never heard it. He had fallen sick on a trip to Hawaii in March and when he came back he couldn't shake it. So this was troubling me as I wrote the song. But it's very much about that romantic view of life that he had. He'd always promised us that will live in France. France was a big deal to him the idea of France as the goal. Literature, Revolution, art, philosophy - France was the place."
It has long been speculated that the Soundgarden song "Black Hole Sun" came from the name of a sculpture in Seattle, but according to their frontman Chris Cornell the title came from a phrase he misheard on the news. The band's name did come from a sculpture.