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[Sandy Denny]

This is a most unusual song, changing time signature from 5/4 to 4/4 to 5/4 (by way of a few bars of 6/8). Fairport Convention recorded this with Richard Thompson playing dulcimer and lead guitar for their album Unhalfbricking. It can also to be found on Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where the Time Goes? box set. A demo by Sandy Denny singing and playing 12-string guitar, recorded at Sound Techniques on 30 December 1968, was published in 2004 on the 5CD Fledg’ling anthology A Boxful of Treasures.

Autopsy was performed live by Fairport Convention on 18 March 1969 in The Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, for the Top Gear / John Peel radio show and broadcast on 6 April 1969 with a repeat on 4 May 1969. On this version there is of course no overdubbed dulcimer, and Sandy’s vocals have been treated to a heavy dose of echo. Otherwise, the version is very similar. This track can be found on the Richard Thompson fan club cassette Doom and Gloom Vol 2 and on the bootleg A Chronicle of Sorts. It was finally officially released in 2002 (and in much better quality!) on the Island CD re-release of Heyday and on the Fairport unConventioNal 4CD set (The track on that album is not an Unhalfbricking out-take as noted in the sleeve notes).

Another BBC radion version from the “Night Ride” programme on 25 November 1968 is not available.

Cover Versions

  1. Iain Matthews with No Grey Faith on their album Secrets All Told (2000)
  2. Groove Armada sampled this in the song Remember on their album Lovebox (2002)
  3. Linde Nijland on her album Linde Nijland sings Sandy Denny (2003)


Sorry, I can't show the lyrics here as I don't have the copyright owners' permission to publish them. But please feel free and ask me to send you the song's lyrics.