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Breakfast in Mayfair

[Simon Nicol]

In 1974, the BBC produced a version of Fairport Convention’s “Babbacombe” Lee for television, entitling it The Man They Couldn’t Hang. It was recorded on 24 September 1974 and broadcast on 1 February 1975. This featured narration by Melvin Bragg, broadsides by Martin Carthy, most of the songs from the record by an unusual Fairport line-up (Donahue / Nicol / Mattacks / Pegg / Swarbrick but without Trevor Lucas), and this song, sung by Sandy Denny (three verses) and Simon Nicol (last verse).

Although the original record of “Babbacombe” Lee has no song titles, Breakfast in Mayfair was the working title for this song. It appeared as this on The History of Fairport Convention and in 2002 on the Fairport unConventioNal 4CD set, and was added as bonus track to the 2004 CD reissue of “Babbacombe” Lee.

In 1992, the BBC released The Man They Couldn’t Hang. as a video-cassette, making this the second video appearance of Sandy Denny (the first was Solo on It All Comes ’Round Again).


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