Top 10 Fairport Convention Songs

Fairport Convention songs

Photo: Tony 1212 [CC BY-SA 4.0

Our Top 10 Fairport Convention songs list takes a look at a band that has been together in name for over 50 years and released twenty eight studio albums. So how in the world does one compose a list of only ten songs for a band with so much material? The answer is to focus on one period. But then again, we can’t ignore the other decades. We will focus on the earlier Fairport Convention songs but also include some later material to define the differences over time in their music.

The other challenge about covering Fairport Convention is the insane amount of lineup changes the band went through over the years. Fairport Convention has changed their lineup over twenty times over the course of their fifty plus year career. Twenty Five different musicians have been part of the Fairport Convention Band.

We hope you enjoy this top 10 Fairport Convention songs list. We tried to cover as much ground as we could but the earliest material was by far their most popular.

# 10 – Come All Ye

We open up our Top 10 Fairport Convention songs list with a track from one of the band’s greatest records. The song “Come All Ye,” was released on the album Liege and Lief. The album was released in 1969. The great song “Come All Ye,” was the album’s opening track. It’s easy to hear the Jefferson Airplane comparisons in the song especially on the song’s chorus. The song was written by Sandy Denny and Ashley Hutchings. At the time of this famous album release Fairport Convention consisted of Sandy Denny on lead vocals, Richard Thompson on guitars, Dave Swarbrick on fiddle, Simon Nicol on guitars, Ashley Hutching on bass and Dave Mattacks on drums.

# 9 – Myths and Heroes

We take a mighty jump in time here with Fairport Convention. Their song “Myths and Heroes” was the title track to their Myths and Heroes album. The record was released in 2015. It was the band’s twenty seventh studio album. This folk music Celtic-infused song sounds like it could have been written in any decade which is quite simply the hallmark of a great song.

The band on the Myths and Heroes album included Simon Nicol on vocals and guitars, Dave Pegg on vocals and bass, Chris Leslies on vocals and multiple string instruments, Ric Sanders on violin and keys and Gerry Conway on drums. With the exception of Simon Nicol this is a completely different band than the group that released the Liege and Lief album in 1969.

# 8 – Percy’s Song

In the number eight spot, we now turn to another legendary Fairport Convention album. Released in 1969, Fairport Convention’s album Unhalfbricking is considered to be one of the band’s most important records and also one of their best. The album showcased Fairport Convention’s interpretations of the three great Bob Dylan songs including the song listed here entitled “Percy’s Song.” 

Fairport Convention members in the band on the Unhalfbricking album release consisted of Sandy Denny on lead vocals, Richard Thompson on guitars, Simon Nicol on guitars, Ashley Hutching on bass and Martin Lambel and Dave Mattacks on drums. Additional musicians on the album also included Dave Swarbrick, Iain Matthews, Trevor Lucas and Marc Ellington.

# 7 – Jewel In The Crown

As we continue our Top 10 Fairport Convention songs list we turn to the 1980s and an album that is considered to be one of the band’s bests for the particular lineup at the time, In the band for the Jewel In The Crown album was Simon Nicol on lead vocals and guitar, Maartin Allcock on guitars, Ric Sanders on violins, Dave Pegg on bass and Dave Mattacks on drums. The album is represented on this list by the record’s great title track “Jewel In The Crown.” 

# 6 – Angel Delight

The Fairport Convention song was the title track for their 1971 album Angel Delight. It was the first Fairport Convention to be released without founding member Richard Thompson. The Angel Delight album was the band’s highest-charting album of their career in the United Kingdom. The album peaked at number eight on the United Kingdom album charts. The band was down to a four-piece at the time consisting of Dave Swarbrick, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks, and Simon Nicol.

# 5 – Tam Lim

For the second time on this top 10 Fairport Convention songs list we turn to the great Liege & Lief album. We could have easily filled this entire list with songs from this fantastic legendary album. The song “Tam Lim,” is a Scottish folk song based on a mythical character. The lead vocal was sung by Sandy Denny.

# 4 – White Dress

The beautiful song “White Dress,” may be the sleeper on this list. The song appeared on the album Rising For The Moon. The album was released in 1975. The song was written by Sandy Denny who also performed the lead vocal on the track. At this time in the band’s career, Fairport Convention consisted of Sandy Denny on vocals, Trevor Lucas on vocals and guitars, Dave Swarbrick on vocals, strings and guitars, Jerry Donahue on lead guitar, Dave Pegg on bass, Dave Mattacks and Bruce Rowland on drums.

# 3 – Meet On The Ledge

As much as we have tried to choose songs from across the band’s entire career, we keep being pulled back towards their late 1960s period and all the great albums the band released when they first started out. The great track “Meet On The Ledge,” was released on the album What We Did On Our Holidays. The album was released in 1969. It was Fairport Convention’s second album.

# 2 – Matty Groves

As we close in on our number one spot on our top 10 Fairport Convention songs list, we once again turn to the great Liege and Lief album. The song “Matty Groves,” was placed as the third track on the record. “Matty Groves,” was a traditional English folk song that told the tale of an adulterous affair and the tragedy that it resulted in.

# 1 – Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

This one was not tough to pick. The wonderful Sandy Denny original folk song “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” is easily the most loved Fairport Convention song of all time. The song was released on the Fairport Convention album Unhalfbricking. The song has been covered by many artists including Judy Collins.

Updated June 6, 2023

Top 10 Fairport Convention Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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