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.

3 thoughts on “She Moves Through The Fair: Versions

  1. […] Richard Thompson’s performance of She Moves Through the Fair is beautiful and haunting.  It will greet you as if you always knew it.  It will consume you as if you had lived it.  The story is mythical, archetypal.  The melody and rythms: ancient.  It belongs at the top of this list . […]

  2. Harriet Lyall says:

    This website is a tour-de-force. The author is to be congratulated on the sheer volume of systematic research that has gone into tracking the history of this haunting, entrancing, inspiring song. I think you are right: the Hazel O’Connor version gives the song an emotional energy which actually makes more sense of the scenario than the ghostly, mournful versions, however beautiful. There has to be a beating heart giving the song a raison d’etre and a dynamic: as the Irish expression has it, “A cuisle” (“Oh pulse of my heart”). The song is about the triumph amd supremacy of Love. Death is an obstacle, but not an insuperable one!

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