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)
ReleasedDecember 1968
Format7", 45rpm
RecordedAugust–September 1968 at Kingsway Recorders and Olympic Studio No. 1, London
GenreBritish folk rock
Length2:49
LabelIsland WIP 6047
Songwriter(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" is a song by British folk rock band Fairport Convention, released in 1968. It was their second single.

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").[1] 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".[2] Thompson has acknowledged that some people interpret "the ledge" as some sort of code for the afterlife and that it is popular at funerals.[3] 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".[3]

The song has become Fairport Convention's unofficial anthem.[citation needed] 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.[4]

A listeners poll for BBC Radio 2 placed the song at number 17 in the station's Sold On Song Top 100 songs.[5]

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".[citation needed] 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.

Cover versions[edit]

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).

In 2017, American rock band Greta Van Fleet recorded a version of the song for their second EP, From the Fires.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Virgin Radio is back!". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.[failed verification]
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ a b Irwin, Colin (March 2011). "The Mojo Interview - Interview with Richard Thompson". Mojo Magazine: 38.
  4. ^ Zierke, Reinhard. "Meet on the Ledge". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. mainlynorfolk.info. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  5. ^ "17 | Meet On The Ledge". Sold On Song Top 100. BBC Radio 2. June 2004. Retrieved 7 October 2011.