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The first of Fairport's long instrumental explorations; a 19th century tragic ballad, impeccably performed by all, very restrained initially, with a change of tempo and richness of sound midway through the song, and a long instrumental coda, apparently recorded live in the studio, that seems to re-express the meaning of the song through the tension and dynamism of the interplay. Dave Swarbrick guests.

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A sailor's life, it is a merry life.
He robs young girls of their hearts' delight,
Leaving them behind to weep and mourn,
They never know when they…

Fairport Convention - A Sailor's Life Lyrics

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