The “She Moves Though the Fair” project has got quite large, and I realised that some sort of contents page would be required. So, here it is!
As this is a page rather than a post, there is also a permanent link to it on the right hand border.
When I started to draw songs, She Moved Through the Fair was the first one that I drew.
I am illusion.
Creation my vocation.
Plays havoc with perception:
I am confusion.
Refraction of reality.
Abstraction to duality.
Distraction at high degree:
None of it makes sense.
I am delusion.
Seeing’s not believing;
Drawing is deceiving;
And painting is a thieving –
At mundanity’s expense.
And in conclusion,
I am all of this and more
Surface truth and deep-set flaw
Interpretation from the core
Insist on ex-istence
O, come walk with me, she said,
And I’ll show you a place I know.
A high place, near the sky place.
A special place you need to see, she said.
Down paths that only she knew,
I followed her, I walked with her;
Starting unsure, the way obscure,
But with ev’ry single step my trust grew.
Up a steep steep hill we strode.
Out of breath we reached the top:
Flat top, plateau, so high up,
Grassy sides either side of an old road.
Together atop that hill, we
Found beauty, peace, and respite
From ev’ryday cares and spite;
Feeling stronger and better ready.
If there be magic then true
Magic resides in places like that.
Call it soul – call it spirit;
The name matters not. ‘Tis it’s own value.
The blank page it awaits
Like freshly fallen snow
Which crisply recieves
Footprints on the go
The blank page’s mystery
Is empty and null.
It has but one purpose:
It needs to be full.
Launch yourself into the blankness
Accept the challenge of the new
Make a mark upon the canvas
Write your name on a page or two…
The blank page it has gone
You’ve made a good start
Now sully another one
In pursuit of your art.
The “Knife and Fork Factory” anectdote makes me think of abstract art.
It seems to me that small children are quite happy with the idea of abstract art; paintings don’t have to represent anything, they are just made for the joy of creation, and displayed for the joy of looking. As we get older (and more able to create representative images), I think we sometimes lose this facility. Some people regain the ability to relate to abstract work, others never quite do. I’m trying to. Some abstract art moves me (the red Rothkos in the Tate; Barbara Hepworth’s organic forms). Some I struggle with (Pollock). I have only recently started to paint abstracts, though, and then very rarely.
I came across a blog post on a structured method of pricing original art. Now, my prices are a bit random (which is why I’m posting this here instead of over there on my art blog), so I thought I’d do some sums and see what fell out of them.
I thought I’d start with my woefully underpriced LEGO 7 x 7 cm canvases.
“She Moves Through the Fair” is usually sung from the male perspective. However, it is frequently sung by a female vocalists. Many of these vocalists are happy to keep the original perspective and sing of a female young love; others have felt the need to change the genders of the protagonists. Sometimes this is reflected in a similar change to the title, but not always.
The following is a list of the versions that I am aware of where the lyrics have been altered to “He moved through the fair”:
- Odetta, “She Moved Though the Fair”
- Trees, “She Moves Though the Fair”
- Nana Mouskouri, “He Moved Through the Fair”
- Sinead O’Connor/The Chieftains feat. Sinead O’Connor, “He Moved Through the Fair”
- E2k, “He Moved Through the Fair/Out the Other Side”
It seems that Ms. Dillon was singing this song live some time before it appeared on her 2009 album, Hill of Thieves, because I kept reading about her version and couldn’t find a studio recording – until the album came out, that is. The simple treatment – with piano and flute backing – really sets off Cara’s beautiful voice.
I’ve recently started a new technical writing job; it’s the sort of job where there’s a bit of hanging around to start with because some things aren’t ready and because I’ll be part of a new team that hasn’t all arrived yet. I was chatting to one of the other guys in the nascent team, talking about software tools – Word, Framemaker, Ventura, InDesign etc. Framemaker is, more or less, the industry standard for technical writers. My experience with it is a few versions ago, but that shouldn’t matter.
“It’s not difficult,” said my colleague.
“No,” I agreed, “It’s like riding a bicycle.”
Alan Stivell, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1973).
Stivell is a French harpist and singer. His version has beautifully simple music (harp and something drone-y in the background) and a slightly slurred vocal. He sings verses 1, 2 and 4 of the modern lyrics, following most of the common variations (i.e. “Mother/Father”, “Dead love” etc.).
You’ll also find Stivell on this live version with Jim Kerr (of Simple Minds) on the mic.