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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - " WE' VE LIVED BEFORE" - FEATURING THE ALBUM "LIEGE AND LIEF " By FAIRPORT CONVENTION IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE - -EPISODE # 39- THE CAPTAIN MINES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACK TREASURES!

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“WE’VE LIVED BEFORE

LIEGE AND LIEF by Fairport Convention (1969, Island / A&M)

I’ve always had the suspicion that I’ve lived before, in the British Isles, during medieval times. I realize that this notion is a new-agey wish that THIS is not all there is, was, or will be, but, I’m not alone; the idea has manifested across several cultures and around the world.

There is a deep connection I feel when I hear the strains of Liege and Lief by Fairport Convention. Sandy Denny’s warm contralto, set against Dave Swarbrick’s evocative fiddle and the mystic chordings of Richard Thompson’s guitar, send vibrations into my core, infusing it with the pleasant assurance that a thousand years ago I was part of a merry band of brothers strumming lutes and swilling mead. I’m not a devotee of Ren Faires, but I get the impulse. For me, it’s this music that is as old as humanity; it’s living archaeology.

The Folk rock juggernaut in America was launched by the Byrds, and with artifacts pilfered from Harry Smith’s collection of 78s by Dylan and the Band, but in England it was Fairport Convention that marked the territory. They found a holy grail by combing through the volumes of ancient ballads, transcribed by Cecil Sharp and Francis James Child. Then, they combined them with a rock and roll beat – setting free the collective longings of a 1960’s generation of Celts.

Maybe I’m connecting through America’s own folk tradition, which emerged from Anglo-Scots-Irish Appalachia, with tunes mutated from these familiar melodies. Mojo magazine cites this record as one of “100 records that changed the world”, and I’m inclined to agree. It’s part of a rich canon that includes Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and HBO’s Game of Thrones. And, it’s through these portals that we reconnect with our genetic roots, so it feels deeply familiar.


By Rich Buckland 12/19/2021 07:25 PM

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