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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Gordon Jackson Meaning: Farewell Farewell (Fairport Convention) (44) RE: Meaning: Farewell Farewell (Fairport Convention) 15 Oct 18

'When the author of a song clearly states that "I really don't know what it means", it's pretty arrogant to say that you know it's a response to a particular event and that your interpretation is defiantly the correct one.'

I agree, although there is more than person on this thread guilty of this.

Richard Thompson is a great lyricist (and a lot of other things, too). Like many great poets and lyricists he is able layer his songs with multiple meanings (I think!).

I don't think Farewell, Farewell is simply a narrative ballad, but it certainly may have been inspired by those events on the M1 that night. I suspect such a close encounter with death would, in addition to a natural sadness, invoke in the survivors questions about death, mortality and leaving (much as I believe he did with 'When I get to the Border').

We have read above many interpretations of some of RT's metaphors, and any and all are valid. A great talent, coupled with a particularly powerful emotional response to death, is going to produce all sorts of imagery, that link, sometimes tenuously, sometimes severally, together in a stream of consciousness that defies precise and definitive interpretation.

Richard Thompson's greatest songs - and Sandy's too, for that matter - seem to be those that we listeners have to work at, and create our our own meanings, rather than identify THE meaning.

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