A Sailor's Life (11:12)

Cover of Unhalfbricking

From Unhalfbricking and 25 other releases

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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  • stringmanuk

    Seederman says it all - fantastic build and jam at the end.

    2 Oct 2012 Reply
  • AbbotAstoend


    25 Sep 2012 Reply
  • bobgreen623

    Nowt wrong with Marquee Moon, which apparently was a rehearsal take, at least as far asa drummer Billy Ficca was concerned. Another wonderful long exploratory piece of space-folk well worth a listen (if you love A Sailor's Life) is 'Sally Free and Easy' by Trees, another 10-minute plus piece with some wonderful almost-psychedelic guitar

    30 Aug 2012 Reply
  • teh1234

    lol marquee moon

    21 Jun 2012 Reply
  • bkuhn1a

    Space folk - great call on that bobgreen. I completely agree - a true masterpiece. Did anyone else mention that this was recorded in one take?

    20 Dec 2011 Reply
  • GPX

    Good song, good progression. Great jam.

    9 Dec 2011 Reply
  • Seederman

    This is just such a beautiful piece; not just the undeniably great vocals, but the instrumentation is stunningly gorgeous as well... I get a new thrill from this on each play.

    11 Nov 2011 Reply
  • bobgreen623

    An enormous groundbreaking beautiful masterpiece of a tune. beautifully sung and played by all - obviously Sandy's voice is a wonder, Thompson and Swarb go exploring magnificently, the rhythm section push it all along masterfully, but I want to make a special shout for Simon Nicol's rhythm guitar (an often overlooked art) that really shines, especially at the 'plateau' then wind-down that occurs from round about the 10:00 point. The track, although an old, old song is taken to almost mystical, cosmic proportions here, kind of space-folk almost. Can you tell that I absolutely love this song?

    8 May 2011 Reply
  • hotrodlincoln19

    And i love this being i am actually a mariner!

    8 Mar 2011 Reply
  • JerryZola25

    pure brilliance - sandy denny's voice is glorious

    9 Jan 2011 Reply
  • gohemmerle

    Life is forever until we die. The Allman Brothers probably loved this group.

    23 Dec 2010 Reply
  • woodsman50

    Still my favorite album and Sandy Denny's voice is so beautiful, sorry she died so young.

    5 Dec 2010 Reply
  • scutermon

    this is like catnip to a Diddy Kitty soul.

    1 Dec 2010 Reply
  • bamski1

    From the heart...to the soul :)

    9 Nov 2010 Reply
  • ultimate60s

    Awesome music, way ahead of its time.

    5 Aug 2010 Reply
  • saintsluvver

    Makes me go all shivery, old hippy that I am...

    17 Jun 2010 Reply
  • lyricalmind89


    19 Mar 2010 Reply
  • BudgieQ


    28 Feb 2010 Reply
  • nocturana

    Still hit's the spot. :)

    26 Feb 2010 Reply
  • GoodnightLondon

    still sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it...

    13 Feb 2010 Reply
  • All 56 shouts

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