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Observations placeholder

Rafferty, Gerry - She Moved Through The Fair ( unreleased )



Type of Spiritual Experience


Folk Roots (1988) - A Humble One: Colin Irwin talks to Gerry Rafferty

Rafferty – always an intensely private man whose skirmishes with the press tended to be few and far between at the best of times – disappeared. Now he’s back with an LP called North and South – no less elusive than he ever was, but a little more mellow about the particular twists and turns that have dragged him around.

CI: You’ve been away for a while.

GR: About five years since the last album. I just decided to stop, though I hadn’t intended to stop for quite so long. I had quite a hectic period during the City to City time and I decided I wanted to do some travelling. So I did.

CI: Where did you go?

GR: Mainly Europe. And America. We spent nine months in Italy – and then I found myself wondering whether I should do another album.

CI: Did you miss it when you were away?

GR: No, not really. I can’t say that I did, but continued to write during that period……………….

CI: So are you nervous about coming back after so long?

GR: No, it’s not about coming back – I don’t really feel I’ve been anywhere.

CI: But you haven’t been in the public eye…

GR: But even during the City to City and Night Owl period I was never in the public eye that much. I was always very conscious about keeping a low profile because that’s the way I like to go about it. And I don’t plan to be in the public eye too much now either.

CI: But don’t you worry if people are still going to like your music. Tastes change…

GR: Oh, I never worry about all that. When City to City came out and Baker Street and all that, I hadn’t done an album for over four years then because of the break-up of Stealers Wheel and all that. And you may recall that album came out at the height of the punk thing. Once you start worrying about fashion there’s no point in doing it.

CI: So can you be objective about this album?

GR: No, not really. It took a long time to make – over a period of a year and a half. And some of the songs I’ve lived with for three or four years……………….

CI: Do you keep tabs on what’s going on in music?

GR: No, I don’t take much note of what’s new or whatever. When I play music at home I tend to put on Irish traditional music, so I’m not really that aware of what’s coming up…………………

CI: Were you always interested in traditional music?

GR: Oh yes. When I was a kid I knew stacks of traditional songs. My father was Irish so growing up in Paisley I was hearing all these songs when I was two or three. Songs like She Moves Through the Fair, which my mother sings beautifully. And a whole suite of Irish traditional songs and Scots traditional songs. But that was intermixed with lots of stuff, Thomas Moore and stuff like Mountains of Mourne, almost semi-music hall stuff that was written at the end of the last century, but which has its place. Thomas Moore was exceptionally gifted.

So that was the environment in which I grew up. It was part of the natural tradition to sing. I have two older brothers and when we were very young we were singing three-part harmonies. And at parties, at Christmas and New Year you sung these songs… everybody did. Long before I get involved with Billy (Connolly) and got involved with playing in the so-called folk scene I knew a lot of that stuff anyway.

A description of the experience

She Moved Through The Fair ( unreleased ) - Gerry Rafferty


My love said to me
My Mother won't mind
And me Father won't slight you
For your lack of kind
Then she stepped away from me
And this she did say
It will not be long love
'Til our wedding day.

She stepped away from me
And she moved through the Fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there
And she went her way homeward
With one star awake
As the swans in the evening
Move over the lake

The people were saying
No two e'er were wed
But one has a sorrow
That never was said
And she smiled as she passed me
With her goods and her gear
And that was the last
That I saw of my dear.

I dreamed it last night
That my true love came in
So softly she entered
Her feet made no din
She came close beside me
And this she did say
It will not be long love
Till our wedding day.


The source of the experience

Rafferty, Gerry

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