Song of the Day, July 18: Come All Ye by Fairport Convention

Fairport_Convention-Liege_&_Lief_(album_cover)Today’s song is Come All Ye by Fairport Convention. It appears on their seminal 1969 album Liege and Lief. After suffering the death of their drummer in a crash, the band regrouped for third album, Unhalfbricking. That disc included the traditional song A Sailor’s Life, featuring fiddle work by folk veteran Dave Swarbrick. Building on that foundation, singer Sandy Denny and bassist Ashley Hutchings convinced the band to record an album of mostly traditional tunes. The result is the first true British folk rock disc and a stunning classic. Swarb joined the band officially along with new drummer Dave Mattacks; both would prove mainstays of the highly volatile lineups.

Along with the five traditional songs are three composed by band members. Come All Ye opens the album with a traditional sound, but was written by Denny and Hutchings. It’s a joyous romp, celebrating the power of music. After welcoming the listener to the album, it introduces each band member with a stanza noting their contributions to the powerful mix. It’s a delightful track that perfectly suits the theme and tone of the album.

Come all ye rolling minstrels
And together, we will try
To rouse the spirit of the earth
And move the rolling sky

Those that dance, will start to dance
And those who don’t will stay
In time to this, our merry tune
That we play for you today

After the album was released, Denny left for a solo career and Hutchings departed to pursue more authentic traditional work by launching Steeleye Span. Their contributions to this amazing record, however, set the stage for the next four decades of beautiful Fairport music. Enjoy this grand celebration of music today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

One Response to Song of the Day, July 18: Come All Ye by Fairport Convention

  1. vespasteve says:

    A truely classic song

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