Song of the Day, February 5: If You Saw Thro My Eyes by Ian Matthews with Sandy Denny

MatthewsDennyThroToday’s song is a showcase of former Fairport Convention talent. Singer Ian (later Iain) Matthews departed the band after their second album, wanting to pursue the pop side of folk rather than the traditional tunes that the band had begun to explore. He formed Matthews’ Southern Comfort and recorded three albums mixing his original songs with well-chosen covers (including Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock, which hit #1 in the UK). Realizing that the band format was too restrictive, he quickly recorded his first true solo album, 1971’s If You Saw Thro My Eyes. While the album is definitely Matthews’, he does get some help from Sandy Denny — who left Fairport two albums after he did — and Richard Thompson — who would leave the band before Matthews’ disc hit the racks.

The title track is a quiet pop gem. Matthews sings it a  duet with Denny, their gorgeous voices intertwining over her fragile piano work. A pensive track on relationships, it shows off the folky side of Matthews’ pop strength and the pop side of Denny’s acoustic power. It was also the last time their two amazing voices were recorded together, a reminder of how charming and sympathetic their partnership could be.

Enjoy this beautiful song 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.

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