Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

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"Who Knows Where the Time Goes?"
Song by Sandy Denny from the album Unhalfbricking (by Fairport Convention)
Released 1968
Writer Sandy Denny
Cover versions
Fairport Convention, 10,000 Maniacs, Mary Black, Eva Cassidy, Judy Collins, Lonnie Donegan, Nanci Griffith, Susanna Hoffs, Deanna Kirk, Charlie Louvin, Cat Power, Julianne Regan, Kate Rusby, Nina Simone, Matthew Sweet, Kate Wolf, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra
Excerpt from "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" - 738 kb

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"Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" is a song written by the English folk-rock singer and songwriter Sandy Denny. Denny originally recorded the song as a demo in 1967, singing and playing guitar on the track. Later that year, she briefly joined the folk band The Strawbs, and re-recorded the song, again with only her voice and guitar, for what became the album All Our Own Work, which would not be released until 1973.

American folk singer Judy Collins heard a tape of the original demo recording in 1968, and decided to cover the song. She released her recording first as the B-side of her cover of "Both Sides, Now", and then as the title track of her album Who Knows Where the Time Goes, both released in 1968. Hers was the first widely available recording of the song.

In 1968 Denny joined the folk-rock band Fairport Convention. She recorded the song on her second album with the band, the 1969 album Unhalfbricking. This version had more of a rock influence.

"Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" has since become a signature song for both Denny and Fairport Convention, and has been covered by many artists.

In 2007, the Unhalfbricking version was voted "Favourite Folk Track Of All Time" by listeners of BBC Radio 2.[1]

Structure[edit]

The song is a slow-paced reflection in three verses on observed events ("Across the evening sky all the birds are leaving"[2][3])

Having described these observations, Denny then writes that for her, some things are timeless ("Before the winter's fire, I will still be dreamin'; I have no thought of time"[4]) and in the last line of the short chorus asks rhetorically "Who knows where the time goes?".

The song is in the key of E major.[4]

Cover versions[edit]

Cover versions have been recorded by, among others 10,000 Maniacs, Mary Black, Eva Cassidy, Judy Collins, Nana Mouskouri, Lonnie Donegan, Nanci Griffith, Susanna Hoffs, Deanna Kirk, Charlie Louvin, Cat Power, Eddi Reader, Julianne Regan (with Fairport Convention), Kate Rusby, Nina Simone (on her 1970 live album Black Gold), Matthew Sweet, Barbara Dickson, Kate Wolf, Lumiere w/Sinéad O'Connor, Heather Masse (on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion).[5][6] It is the title track of Rondi Charleston's 2011 jazz album. Also in the TV show Pretty Little Liars, Aria (Lucy Hale) sings a cover.

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

The Fairport Convention version was used as the closing music in the 2009 film Don't Worry About Me. The Judy Collins version can be heard in the films The Subject Was Roses and A Walk on the Moon. The Nina Simone version is used in the 2002 film The Dancer Upstairs. In the 2011 Broadway production of Jerusalem," by Jez Butterworth, the song is played in its entirety towards the end of the final act. A young girl puts an LP record on a turntable and the song plays as Mark Rylance's character, Johnny Byron, dances with her and is then brutally beaten by the girl's stepfather and his brothers. The version used is the live recording from BBC Radio Sounds of the Seventies, recorded September 11, 1973. The actress, Lucy Hale, sings it in an episode of the TV show Pretty Little Liars. The song was played in the BBC's Inspector George Gently episode "The Lost Child" set in 1968.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Radio 2 Folk Awards 2007 winners". BBC. 6 February 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  2. ^ "purple" is used in Denny's original home demo, later versions used "evening"
  3. ^ "Sandy Denny". New Musical Express. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Who Knows Where The Time Goes Chords by Fairport Convention @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com". www.ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Sandy Denny: Who Knows Where the Time Goes?". www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  6. ^ "A Prairie Home Companion for December 31, 2011". American Public Media. 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 

External links[edit]