Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fairport Convention: Red and Gold

Cropredy in Oxfordshire was the site of a battle in the English Civil War, which can claim to be the last fought on English soil under the command of the monarch. It took place 369 years ago yesterday.

These days the village is better known as the site of the festival staged each year by the folk-rock band Fairport Convention.

Fairport's glory days were back in the sixties when they had two geniuses (genii? genarooties?) in the shape of Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson.

This song, written by Ralph McTell, tells the story of the battle and is one of their better moments since that era. Perhaps it is a little slow and wordy at first, but stay with it as the overall effect of the song is moving.

The English Heritage report on the battlefield says that Cropredy Bridge bears this fading memorial plate:
The site of the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, June 1644. From Civil War Good Lord deliver us.
That is also the message of this song.

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