She Moves Through the Fair: Anúna

Buy from

Anúna, “Our Wedding Day” (2007)

Anúna lay claim to the title ‘Ireland’s National Choir’. They sing songs from many eras, and it is not surprising that a version of “She Moves Through the Fair” – an Irish standard – is among them. This is entitled “Our Wedding Day”, and uses the ‘alternate‘, traditional lyrics, sung by a solo male voice (Michael McGlynn).

Anúna are a classical-traditional hybrid. The formal style of singing that they employ doesn’t do an awful lot for me, I have to say. It puts me in mind of various attempts to ‘gentrify’ folk music, by which I mean taking the people’s music and tidying it up for consumption by the aristocracy or other groups who regard themselves in some way superior. Still, that is my opinion,  and I can see the classical beauty in this version – it just doesn’t touch me.

The ensemble provided music for the two Irish dance extravaganzas, Riverdance and Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance (the latter features a different version of “Our Wedding Day”, which I believe to be sung by Anne Buckley – hear it on YouTube.)

Buy “Our Wedding Day” on mp3 from
(the CD was a limited edition US release)


She Moves Through the Fair: All About Eve

All About Eve, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1988).

This is where I came in; the first version of the song I ever heard. Julianne Regan’s beautiful voice is barely accompanied by a drone type instrument, so that it is almost an a cappella rendition. She sings a variant on the modern (Colum) lyrics.

All About Eve are difficult to categorise beyond the broad ‘rock’ bracket. They were associated with the mid to late 80s goth movement, but, despite an avowed early Siouxsie and the Banshees influence, their music shared relatively little with gothic rock . This, their eponymous debut album, also includes the ballad, “Martha’s Harbour”, which was their biggest hit, and a song written about Janis Joplin (“Wild Hearted Woman”). Later albums diverged further, occasionally shedding fans en route.

Julianne has declared an interest in 1960s folk rock, notably Sandy Denny, the one-time singer with Fairport Convention. Sandy did sing “She Moves Through the Fair” with Fairport, and was partly responsible for repopularising the song. It seems fair to say that All About Eve’s version is influenced by Fairport’s, although the instrumentation is remarkably different.

The drone reappears in a later version by Feargal Sharkey.

She Moves Through The Fair: Versions

This is a list of notable versions of the song, “She Moves Through The Fair”. As a legacy of the song’s history, there are variations in the title, and in the lyrics. I have tried to indicate some of these variations as follows:

(M) uses the Modern lyrics, based on Colum’s poem. There are several variations within this group.
(A) uses the Alternate lyrics, also known as “Our Wedding Day”. Again, there are variations on these lyrics.
(I) is an Instrumental.
(R) is a Related song.
(P) is a Parody.

I will add links to posts with more details on each version when I’ve written them…

John McCormack, “She Moved Thro’ The Fair” (1941). (M)

Sydney MacEwan, “She Moved Thro’ The Fair” (1940-1950?). (M)

Margaret Barry, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1958?).  (M)

Davy Graham, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1962). (I)

Anne Briggs, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1963). (M)

Odetta, “She Moved Though the Fair” (1963). (M)

Terry Callier, “It Will Not Be Long, Love, ‘Til Our Wedding Day” (1964). (M)

Marianne Faithfull, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1966). (M)

John Martyn, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1967). (M)

Davy Graham, “She Moved Thru the Bizarre / Blue Raga”(1967). (I)

The Yardbirds, “White Summer” (1968). (I)

Fairport Convention, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1969). (M)

Trees, “She Moves Through The Fair” (1970). (M)

Alan Stivell, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1973). (M)

Nana Mouskouri, “He Moved Through the Fair” (1976). (M)

Art Garfunkel, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1977). (M)

Mary Black, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1984). (M/A hybrid)

Loreena McKennit, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1985). (M)

Pentangle, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1986). (M)

Eyeless in Gaza, “She Moves Thru the Fair” (1986). (M)

All About Eve, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1988). (M)

Van Morrison, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1988). (M)

Simple Minds, “Belfast Child” (1989). (R)

Marianne Faithfull “She Moved Through the Fair” (1990). (M)

Richard Thompson, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1990, live performance). (M)

Feargal Sharkey, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1991). (M)

Máire Brennan, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1992). (M)

Áine Ui Cheallaigh, “Out of the Window” (1992). (R)

Jam Nation, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1992). (A/M hybrid)

The Mrs Ackroyd Band, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1994). (P)

Hazel O’Connor, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1994). (M)

Rory Gallagher, “She Moved Thro’ the Fair/Ann Cran Ull” (released 1994). (I)

Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1994). (M)

Jim Kerr and Alan Stivell, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1995, live performance). (M)

The Chieftans featuring Sinead O’Connor, “He Moved Through the Fair” (1995). (M)

Sinead O’Connor, “He Moved Through the Fair” (Michael Collins soundtrack) (1996). (M)

Boyzone, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1996). (M)

The Black Velvet Band, “She Moved Through the Faire” (1996). (M)

Bert Jansch, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1998). (M)

Shane McGowan and the Popes, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1998). (M) – B-side to single, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Paddy”

E2k, “He Moved Through the Fair/Out the Other Side” (2003). (M)

Green Man, “She Moved Through the Fair” (2004). (A)

Emer Kenny, “She Moved Through the Fair” (2004). (M)

Joe Brown, “She Moves Through the Fair” (2004). (M)

Celtic Woman, “She Moved Thru’ the Fair” (2004). (M)

Hayley Westenra, “She Moves Through the Fair” (2006). (M)

Anuna, “Our Wedding Day” (2007). (A)

Rebsie Fairholm, “She Moves Through the Fair” (2007). (M)

Cara Dillon, “She Moved Through the Fair” (2009). (M)

Other versions I am aware of include:

  • Sharon Corr’s instrumental take, entitled “Our Wedding Day”, on her album Dream of You.
  • James Galway, flautist.
  • Parody: “She Fell Through the Flair [Floor]”. A Scottish dialect parody that I have not been able to track down.
  • Kipper Family, “One Drunken Maiden” (1988). Another parody version, based on Colum’s lyrics. I’ve not heard this yet.
  • Shirley Collins has recorded the song; it appeared on an EP, Shirley Sings Irish and was later available on her anthology box set Within Sound, but that appears to have been deleted and is now frighteningly expensive, so I haven’t heard Shirley’s version.