Live & Unconventional


It's here!! Finally, the live album we recorded on the Fairport Convention Winter Tour in 2018. 15 tracks, including three featuring members of the band. 



1. Far Off on the Horizon

Another night and sleep won't come;
I’m staring at the ceiling.
Just my thoughts for company
And the sound of my own breathing.
There's a battle raging in my head,
The saints against the sinners.
Oh restless night, oh restless night,
The ghost of you still lingers.

   There's too much space and I dare not dream
   On this bed where I am lying.
   And tomorrow's just another day, far off on the horizon.

Why did you go? Why was it so?
What was it you were needing?
Did you hear the sound of dripping blood?
It was only my heart bleeding.
I gave whatever I could give,
Though it wasn't up to much.
A ransom for a tired smile,
Tokens for a tender touch.


Treachery comes with a smile
And deceit the warmest handshake.
Moonlit shadows icy cold,
Surrendering to day break.
And so morning comes, just as it must;
The wheels they keep on turning.
Each shadowed face I know too well,
Each memory still burning.


Back to tracklist



2. Merciful Father

Oh merciful father, what have I done?
I carry a rifle. I carry a gun.
I use them to kill, to wound and to maim.
All of these actions I do in your name.

My parents they raised me true to my faith,
But now they’ve disowned me, for I am disgraced.
But merciful father, we both know the truth.
My hands and my conscience are guided by you.

  Is it nature or nurture, what do we believe?
   What leads some to hunger drives others to greed.
   I’m guided by spirit; I’m guided by light.
   Dark are my days, but darker my nights.

Oh merciful father, I feel truly blessed;
A heart filled with hatred burns strong in my breast.
But merciful father, my day soon will come.
Will you praise me or shame me for all I have done?

Oh merciful father, what have we done?
I carry a rifle. I carry a gun.
I use them to kill, to wound and to maim.
All of these actions I do in your name.

Back to tracklist



3. Tried and Tested

Just what was it you were looking for
On that dark and stormy night?
What was it you were needing?
What did it take to put things right?
Did you get a little hungry?
Is it something that you do?
You can always come back, babe,
To the tried and the tested and the true.

The sun is shining over yonder, always a step away.
Don't be in such a hurry, babe, it will shine on you some day.
You just need a little patience,
The skies are turning blue.
You know you can rely on
The tried and the tested and the true.

    I've been down that rocky road, such a treacherous path.
   Don't step too close to the edge now babe,
   Cos it's a long and hard climb back.
   Let me pass on some pearls of wisdom. Take heed of my advice.
   You come this way but once child, so you better think twice.

Youth is wasted on the young, I heard somebody say.
It takes years to get this stupid - that's a price I've had to pay.
I'm throwing you my riches. Are you picking up these clues?
When you're looking for an answer,
Look for the tried and the tested and the true.
Yeah, when you’re looking for an answer
Look for the tried and the tested and the true.

Back to tracklist



4. Storm Around Tumbledown

Only nineteen, so young and so keen,
He couldn't wait.
Sailing out with the boys, all the cheers and the noise,
He didn't hesitate.
Finished his training and he knew what to do,
Just like an exercise, home in a week, maybe two,
And the rain clouds gathered.

As they were landing, they were told "Here's the test."
Said "We're headed for Tumbledown, 
Come on boys. Do your best.
For there's glory in victory; it's there for the taking.
You'll all be remembered; it's history we're making,"
And still the rain clouds gathered.
   Chorus    There's a storm around Tumbledown tonight
                   There's a storm around Tumbledown tonight

Shells cracked like thunder, all around them they fell.
The bullets poured down on them
Like a rainstorm from hell.
"What am I doing here?" He asked himself why.
"I'm only nineteen, Lord, I'm too young to die."
And still the rain clouds gathered.


An Argentine bullet, so swift and so true,
It ended that poor boy's life in a second or two.
Now he'll no more suffer the fear and the pain,
He'll never no more see the shores of England again.
Still the rain clouds gathered.

   Chorus & Repeat

Back to tracklist



5. I’d Rather Be Ashes Than Dust

Oh, fill up your glasses, I’ll sing you a song
Of a hard-drinking man, whose days are long gone.
Born out of wedlock, born for the sea,
A writer, a scholar, Jack London was he.

From humble beginnings our Jack did alright.
A good man to have by your side in a fight.
He stood for the unions and marched with the men,
From Oakland to Washington, back home again. 

   Chorus  Said I’d rather be ashes than dust,  
          To burn like a comet, than slowly to rust.
          Better to shout like a madman than fade with a hush.  
          I’d rather be ashes than dust.
         Oh, I’d rather be ashes than dust.

He said “Life’s for living; you’re long enough dead.
I’ll be topping the waves, while you’re rotting in bed.
There’s a sloop in the harbour and the tide it won’t wait.
You can trust in your gods. I’ll trust in my fate.”


Gold digger, a writer, a jailbird, a crook,
A pirate, a boxer, our Jack pushed his luck.
A hunter, a drinker till his dying day.
Old age wouldn’t have him; Jack went his own way.

There’s a green mossy stone marks his last resting place,
But I bet if you look there you’ll not find a trace.
He’ll be digging for gold. He’ll be shooting the stars.
Oh here’s to Jack London, wherever you are.


Back to tracklist



6. Orange Trees and Dusty Roads

The rain it stings; it's a bitter cold night,
Old dog he's growling, shaping up to fight.
Fur's up on his neck; he's as angry as hell,
For no good reason, as far as I can tell.
I zip up my coat, think I'll make it on time
To the late night offie, get a bottle of cheap red wine.
I shouldn't be drinking, but I'm thinking I might.
What else do you do, on such a bitter cold night,?

   Chorus    But eventually the slumber comes,
                  Lightens up my load,
                  And I dream of California, orange trees and dusty roads.
                  The echoes of the grapes of wrath, the spirit of Tom Joad.
                  I dream of California, orange trees and dusty roads.

Then again I'm walking past the office blocks,
All shiny chrome tinted glass and coded locks.
There’s no place in there for the likes of me.
No social standing in this society.
For I have no country I can call my own,
Condemned to wander, through these streets I roam.

I have no answers, which way do I turn?
The anger screams and the hunger burns.


Now I'm huddled in a doorway,
My whole life spread on the ground.
I'm shivering to my bones, and my head it starts to pound.
My best friends they’re my overcoat 
And this old pair of shoes,
In a land of milk and honey,
Ignorance and solitude.


Back to tracklist



7. Grateful For The Rain (Billy Boy)

What would you know, it was pouring with rain.
I never asked why, but forever it seemed
There were clouds in the sky, gun-metal grey,
Choking the sun, day after day.

My mother, my father, my auntie and I
Gathered on the dockside to say our goodbyes.
I carried the bags for my sweet sister May
And I wondered if I’d see her again.

   Billy boy, oh Billy boy, you'd better treat her good.
   There's not a single drop of bitterness 
   That flows within her blood.
   Billy boy, oh Billy boy, stay faithful and stay true.
   My sweet sister May is Calgary bound
   For the love of you.

There was laughter and cheers as the ship pulled away.
Hard as I tried, I could not be brave.
I shouted and waved and the tears filled my eyes.
Grateful I was for the rain.


Stephen, oh Stephen, you have no need to fret.
I love your sister dearly and happy we are wed.
Our life it isn't easy but we're young and we are strong.
Give us your blessing, for together we belong.


Back to tracklist



8. Metagama (Look At Me Now)

Strong farmer lads we're wanting, that's what the paper said.
The soil is soft and fertile; it'll keep your children fed,
His eyes lit like a beacon. Sold at once was he.
If you love me then you'll follow, for it's Canada for me.

   Chorus Look at me now; I'm a thousand miles from home,
               On board the Metagama, ploughing through the foam,
               My heart it aches for Lewis, my mother and my dad,
               But I'd cross the rolling ocean, 
               For my handsome farmer lad.

He told me I was beautiful, when I was just sixteen.
“A rose cannot compare with you, my darling sweet Christine”.
I was caught hook line and sinker 
By his good looks and his charms.
Now I'm bound for Canada, and working on the farm.


I'm not alone upon this voyage; there's me and hundreds more.
The wild Atlantic Ocean is the opening of the door.
Prosperity is waiting; there's riches to be had,
But I struck gold the day I met my handsome farmer lad.


Back to tracklist



9. Find Myself a Lover

I'm gonna find myself a lover, find myself a real good man.
I'm gonna saddle up a stallion, ride all night to that promised land
And when I get there in the morning
I'm gonna ride him back again.

I'm gonna find myself a lover,
Someone who knows how to treat me right.
A man to cover me with kisses, drive me crazy every night
And when I've finally had enough of him
I'll blow him out like a candle light.

   Chorus     You see I'm tired of being lonely, tired of being down,
                    Tired of all them little boys just messing me around,
                    Tired of loving losers, tired of loving clowns,
                    So don't push your luck, if you don't measure up
                    I'll be running you right out of town.
                    Get out of town.

You see a woman she needs
To be spoiled every now and then.
To get those little extras
A little money must be spent.
So give me what I'm asking;
I'll give you love that's heaven sent.

Repeat First Verse

Back to tracklist



10. Ghost

Me and my father didn't get along;
18 years when it all went wrong.
A one-way ticket on a one-way track;
I walked away with the clothes on my back.

There comes a point you can't take anymore.
I slept on couches, I slept on floors.
For the sake of my head I had to get away.
I pray to God it doesn't rain today.

   Chorus  Well the government said it was self inflicted, 
                 So I don't show up on their statistics.
                 With the click of a mouse I disappeared;
                 From a girl to a ghost at eighteen years.

Well you have to learn fast or you're gonna die trying,
And I've not been an angel, there's no denying.
But the lessons come hard, along with the knocks,
When you’re looking at the world from a cardboard box.


I might not be a genius but I'm not dumb;
I'm hitting my stride though I can't yet run.
I make a few quid selling magazines,
But the prospects are poor for a ghost of eighteen.

Now I have a new family of sisters and brothers 
And there's some ruthless swines, as I’ve discovered. 
But there's plenty of good and helpful souls;
A hot bowl of soup and a warm bread roll.


Back to tracklist



11. I Wish I Could Turn Back Time

Once a miner always a miner, the old man used to say.
I scraped the dirt from my finger nails, and I threw me boots away.
I've had countless jobs since they closed us down,
I'm still on minimum wage.
Clinging onto my pride, but there's nowhere to hide,
It gets harder everyday.

I've worked doors and bars and I've sold used cars,
Swept the streets just to earn a crust.
I’ve swung a pick and a shovel, it's an uphill struggle,
These dreams don't amount to much.
Once I had direction, once I had a plan
But the politicians she snatched it from my hands.
Another kick in the teeth for the working man.
Hey, brother, can you spare me a mine?

   Chorus I wish I could turn back time.
               For a decent wage I'd get back in that cage,
               Into the dirt and the grime, back down the mine.
               Oh, if only I could turn back time.

Well, me and the lad we sold cheap booze and fags
Every Sunday from the back of my van.
But we took a tumble, the day we got rumbled
By the customs and excise man.
All our stock he took ,he impounded our truck.
Our prospects again looking bleak,
When the magistrate, he said “Boys don't be late,
“And I’ll see you in court next week.”


What's past is past and time travels fast. 
I'm not bitter what's done is done.
They bricked up the door back in 84, 
Turned the lights out one by one.
Redundancy tokens, communities broken, 
Blood brothers who no longer speak.
From brass bands and banners to multi store planners
Take a long hard look and then weep.


Back to tracklist



12. Still Life in the Old Dog Yet

Thirty years I'd given them, when I was shown the door.
My boss never got to say goodbye;
They gave him the push just a fortnight before.
And I can't deny it crippled me; it all came as such a shock.
No matter how I tried, I couldn't help but cry,
The last time that I punched the clock.

Ten thousand pounds redundancy; they said I could retrain.
I blew the whole lot on a college course,
I was trying to get back to work again.
50 grand a year they said, but it all came down to naught.
“It's a young man's game and you're past your prime”
No-one said it, but I know what they thought.

   Chorus      And there's still life in the old dog yet.
                    The wiser you are the older you get.
                    Shout out every day when you get out of bed,
                    There's still life in the old dog yet.

Well, Job Centre Plus was my second home.
I'd call in every day, wouldn't leave them alone.
Time and again they'd send me in a rage,
“We've got nothing here for a bloke of your age”.
Well I didn't give in. I was a total pain,
And perseverance it bought its gains.
I've got steady work though I don't make a mint,
But it beats being at home and it beats being skint.


Now I'm up every morning away on my bike;
It isn't all fun, but it suits me all right.
One day at a time it's all you can ask;
I'm living each one as if it were my last.
So keep ducking and diving. Sail with the breeze.
Don't let 'em drag down onto your knees.
Roll with the punches and don't lose that grin.
Come out fighting again and again and again.


Back to tracklist



13. It’ll Take a Long Time

Oh it’s like a storm at sea and everything is lost
And the fretful sailors, calling out their woes
As to the waves they’re tossed.
Oh they are all gentlemen and never will they know
If there is a reason each of them must go
To join the cruel flow.

   Chorus       It’ll take a long, long time (x 4)

Oh there is no need for rules, there’s no-one to score the game
And there is nobody living in this town, as even knows its name.

   Chorus and repeat

© Sandy Denny, BMI Music publishing.

Back to tracklist



14. This Day Is Mine

Ain't gonna go to work today; 
I got better things to do with my time. 
Ain't gonna go to work today.
Ain't gonna go to work today; 
I kicked the habit of that daily grind.
Ain't gonna go to work today.

I woke up this morning, caught a ray of sunlight on the wall.
Maybe a voice was calling, maybe there was nothing there at all.

Ain't gonna go to work today; I might just wander down the road.
Ain't gonna go to work today; hit the shops and buy myself some
Then I'll have a coffee, think of all the jobs that I've not done.
I'll get it in the neck tomorrow, but today I'm gonna have some fun.

   Chorus   Because this day is mine.
                  I broke the habit of a lifetime.
                  One out of the blue.
                  I will remember this
                  Like a long and tender kiss
                  From the greatest love I ever knew.....

Ain't gonna go to work today;
This mood's too good to throw it down the drain,
Ain't gonna go to work today;
Tomorrow things might never be the same,
If I could I'd bottle this, spread it round the room from time to time.
Then should I feel amiss I'd take a glass and life would be just fine.


I gotta go to work tomorrow, but it doesn't really feel that bad.
I gotta go to work tomorrow; today's been great, no point in
        feeling sad.
If it gets to me I'll think of all the things I've done today
And this will set me free;
My mind takes wings and slowly drifts away.
My mind takes wings and slowly drifts away.
My mind takes wings.


This day is mine. This day is mine. (and repeat)

Back to tracklist



15. Common Form

Marching bands and flags held high,
Fingers point toward the sky.
To lead and steel and waiting foe, 
Glory, glory onward go.

   Chorus   If any question why we died,
                 Tell them, “Because our fathers lied.”

A blow upon a whistle, a handshake from a friend.
It's 80 yards from here to hell; for most this is the end.
While some born of a nobler stock sit safely out of range,
Shuffling cards and dealing hands - the deadliest of games.


Heroes led by donkeys, to coin another's phrase,
Condemned to die, lest some lose face,
And so a war was waged.
Testosterone and bullshit - it's a heady, potent brew.
Pick up your kit boys, fall in line. We've got a job to do.

From cities, towns and villages, 
These brave souls gave their names.
On cold November Sundays we remember them again.
They gave their names to carve in stone. Eternity is theirs.
Flowers pinned on button holes, 
Soft words and whispered prayers.


Duty lad. It's your duty, lad. 
Go and show them how it's done.
We're proud of you, so proud of you, 
Said a father to his son.

Back to tracklist