Song of the day: SANDY DENNY – Solo (1973)

It was 30 years ago today that Sandy Denny died following a fall at her parents’ home. I’m not going to write some great, long, mournful eulogy, but she remains my favourite English singer bar none.

The video was shot by a fan, and is of pretty ropy quality. The sound is pretty good, though, and the performance superb. It was filmed in 1974 when Sandy had just rejoined Fairport Convention for a short second stint that would culminate in the Rising From The Moon LP. “Solo” was taken from her own Like An Old Fashioned Waltz. It’s one of my favourites of her tunes, and features some of her best bleakly comic lyrics. The last verse, in particular, is magnificent.

There’s a two part documentary on BBC Radio 2 starting tomorrow night (22nd) at 10.30pm and concluding next Tueday at the same time.

Good morning, good afternoon
And what have you got to say?
Well I’m waiting, but I can’t stay long
It’s such a lovely day
There’s a time to be talking
And a time when it’s no use
Right now I think the things you say
Are liable to confuse

I’ve just gone solo
Do you play solo?
Ain’t life a solo?

What a wonderful way to live
She’s travelling all over the world
Why, the fame and all the golden
Opportunities unfurled
No time for the gent with the mulliner bentley
And heaven knows what else
Why, he wouldn’t even stand a chance
With all his oil-wells

She just went solo
Do you play solo?
Ain’t life a solo?

I’ve always lived in a mansion
On the other side of the moon
I’ve always kept a unicorn
And I never sing out of tune
I could tell you that the grass is really greener
On the other side of the hill
But I can’t communicate with you
And I guess I never will

We’ve all gone solo
We all play solo
Ain’t life a solo?

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