Meet on the Ledge
|"Meet on the Ledge"|
|Single by Fairport Convention|
|from the album What We Did on Our Holidays|
|B-side||"Throwaway Street Puzzle" (Hutchings/Thompson)|
|Recorded||August–September 1968 at Kingsway Recorders and Olympic Studio No. 1, London|
|Genre||British folk rock|
|Label||Island WIP 6047|
|Producer(s)||Joe Boyd (Witchseason Productions)|
|Fairport Convention singles chronology|
The song was taken from the album What We Did on Our Holidays. They had performed "Meet on the Ledge" on the 1969 launch of From the Roundhouse (a short-lived BBC television youth and arts programme about the London "underground scene"). The vocals were performed by Sandy Denny and Iain Matthews. 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". Thompson has acknowledged that some people interpret "the ledge" as some sort of code for the afterlife and that it is popular at funerals. In an interview with Mojo magazine in March 2011, 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 ... 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".
The song has become Fairport Convention's unofficial anthem. At their concerts, including the ongoing Cropredy Festival, it is often performed as the last song and a signal to fans that there will be no more encores.
Thompson re-recorded the song as a bonus track on his solo album Small Town Romance. 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". The title has been used for a compilation album by Fairport Convention and a book about them. It is the first track on the 1972 compilation History of Fairport Convention.
The song was covered by British folk group Prelude on their 1975 album Owlcreek Incident.
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).
- "Virgin Radio is back!". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.[failed verification]
- Humphries, Patrick (1982). Meet on the Ledge: A History of Fairport Convention. London: Eel Pie Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 0-906008-46-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Irwin, Colin (March 2011). "The Mojo Interview - Interview with Richard Thompson". Mojo Magazine: 38.
- Zierke, Reinhard. "Meet on the Ledge". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. mainlynorfolk.info. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- "17 | Meet On The Ledge". Sold On Song Top 100. BBC Radio 2. June 2004. Retrieved 7 October 2011.