Meet on the Ledge

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"Meet on the Ledge"
Single by Fairport Convention
from the album What We Did on Our Holidays
B-side "Throwaway Street Puzzle" (Hutchings/Thompson)
Released December 1968
Format 7", 45rpm
Recorded August–September 1968 at Kingsway Recorders and Olympic Studio No. 1, London
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:49
Label Island WIP 6047
Writer(s) Richard Thompson
Producer(s) Joe Boyd (Witchseason Productions)
Fairport Convention singles chronology
"If I Had a Ribbon Bow"
(1968)
"Meet on the Ledge"
(1968)
"I'll Keep It With Mine"
(1969)

"Meet on the Ledge" was a song released in 1968 by the English folk rock and electric folk band Fairport Convention. It was their second single.

The song was taken from the album What We Did on Our Holidays. BBC Radio 2's Sold On Song TOP 100 songs as voted for by Radio 2 listeners put their early song "Meet On The Ledge" at Number 17.[1] They had performed "Meet on the Ledge" on the 1969 launch of From the Roundhouse (a short-lived BBC-TV youth and arts programme about the London "underground scene").[2] The song's title comes from a large, low hanging tree limb on which Richard Thompson used to play as a child, and which he and his friends had dubbed "The Ledge".[3] Richard Thompson acknowledged that some people interpret "the ledge" as some sort of code for the afterlife and that it is popular at funerals.[4] In an interview with Mojo magazine March 2011 Richard Thompson said: "The hardest thing about being a 17-year-old songwriter is that you're embarrassed - you're never going to write a song saying, 'These are my feelings, I love you.' So I was trying to find some semi-veiled language that conveyed something to somebody somehow but which didn't really say anything up front. It's a slightly naïve song, a little obscure. I don't even know what it means."[4] Thompson added: "I had to sing it at my own mother's funeral. It was in her will. That's about the hardest thing I've ever done".[4]

The song became Fairport Convention's unofficial anthem. At their concerts and, particularly, at the ongoing Cropredy Festival, it is often performed as the last song and a signal to fans that there will be no more encores.[5]

Thompson was somewhat uncertain of his own vocals at the time of the first recording. Instead Sandy Denny and Ian Matthews took the honours. Thompson re-recorded it on the album Small Town Romance (a bonus track), but does not give it any special prominence in his repertoire. Fairport Convention re-recorded the song in 1987, releasing it as a track on the album In Real Time: Live '87 and as a single to tie in with the band's 20th anniversary. Of the latter release, band member Ric Sanders quipped at the time "We're going to release it every 20 years until it's a hit". It was covered by Eleanor Shanley, Noel Murphy and the Continental Drifters. The title has been used for a compilation album by Fairport Convention and a book about them. On the 1972 compilation History of Fairport Convention it is the first track.

Cover versions[edit]

British folk group, Prelude (band) 1975's albums Owlcreek Incident(Dawn Records DNLH-3)

In 2012, American rock band Counting Crows recorded a version of the song for their covers album, Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "17 | Meet On The Ledge". Sold On Song Top 100. BBC Radio 2. June 2004. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Virgin Radio[dead link]
  3. ^ Humphries, Patrick (1982). Meet on the Ledge: A History of Fairport Convention. London: Eel Pie Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 0-906008-46-8. 
  4. ^ a b c Irwin, Colin (March 2011). "The Mojo Interview - Interview with Richard Thompson". Mojo Magazine: 38. 
  5. ^ Zierke, Reinhard. "Meet on the Ledge". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. informatik.uni-hamburg.de. Retrieved 7 October 2011.