Fairport Convention – She Moved Through The Fair (Folk)

This magical Irish folk song is of unknown origin, but with its earliest incarnations to be found in Tír Chonaill. It has a melody said by some to have Oriental influences, but this may be coincidental. It tells of a young man who speaks of his fiance with awe as she travels through places in his life. He later sees her as she visits him in his bedroom late at night to remind him that their wedding day approaches. It emerges that she has already died and it’s her ghost that visited him. It’s a haunting and tragic version of this love story. In other renditions, the female lover abandons her man and runs off with another more affluent paramour. In either version, the narrator gets walloped. Poor fella.

She Moves Through The Fair was first ‘collected’ by musicologist, Herbert Hughes, in 1909 and some of the lyrics recorded by Longford poet, Padraic Colum, who claimed to have written others to suit the melody. It has been recorded by many notable artists, among them, Pete Seeger, Maureen O’Hara, Dominic Behan, Marianne Faithfull, The Yardbirds, Paul Young, All About Eve, Van Morrison, Led Zeppelin, Hazel O’Connor, Charlotte Church, Rory Gallagher, Donovan, Andrea Corr and Sarah Brightman. Apparently, the only ones not to have recorded this song are Rebel Voice and we hope to rectify that very soon, so watch the charts for that massive hit.

This version is by the glorious English folk band, Fairport Convention. Rebel Voice selected this because of the beautiful voice of Sandy Denny, too soon gone from us.

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