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Like an Old Fashioned Waltz

Sandy Denny: Like an Old Fashioned Waltz (Island WIP 6195)

Like an Old Fashioned Waltz / ?
Sandy Denny

Island WIP 6195 (single, p/s, UK, 1974 - cancelled)

[Sandy Denny]

“Being a romantic at heart, I tried to capture the magic of an old Hollywood movie. Two dancers alone in an enormous deserted ballroom. But where does the orchestra hide? Notice when the strings come in!”

Again, there are quite a lot of versions of the eponymous title song of Sandy’s third post-Fairport solo album. It is very 30’s influenced (as are several of the songs on the album). Naturally the song is in 3/4 time and the orchestral violins begin to play on the line “And violins play from behind garden walls”. The tune features a modulation for the instrumental break, then reverts to its original key when Sandy resumes singing.

  1. The studio version was of course released on Sandy’s album Like an Old Fashioned Waltz. It was later included in the Sandy Denny anthologies No More Sad Refrains and A Boxful of Treasures.
  2. An alternative take without the added string section can be found on the cassette Together Again - The Attic Tracks Vol. 4.
  3. A solo live studio recording from 11 September 1973 for the BBC Radio 1 show “Sounds of the Seventies”, hosted by John Peel, was broadcast on 25 September 1973. It was first published in 1997 on The BBC Sessions 1971-73 and later in 2007 on the 3CD+DVD set Live at the BBC.
  4. After Sandy rejoined Fairport Convention in 1974, a live recording was made at the LA Troubadour and released on the semi-bootleg From Past Archives and in 2005 as bonus track of the CD reissue of Like an Old Fashioned Waltz.
  5. Another Fairport live recording from May 1974 at Ebbets Field, Denver, Colorado was released in 2002 on the bonus CD of Before the Moon.
  6. The DVD Sandy Denny: Under Review has a short video footage of Like an Old Fashioned Waltz from a Fairport Convention gig at Birmingham University in 1974. This is very murky, both in sound and vision. Another performance from the same gig, of Solo, shown on the Fairport Convention video It All Comes ’Round Again, was for a long time the only known video of Sandy Denny.

Cover Versions

  1. Louis Neefs with his Belgian translation Ik kan nooit zonder jou on his album Nooit zonder jou (1980)
  2. Emmylou Harris on her album White Shoes (1983)
  3. Vikki Clayton on her album It Suits Me Well (reissue 1998)
  4. Lynni Treekrem with her Norwegian translation Rosan e rød on Tusenfryd (1994)
  5. Turid Pedersen with her Norwegian translation God Gammeldags Vals on Ensomhet i lag (2000)
  6. Lisa O’Kane on her album Am I Too Blue (2001)
  7. Spindel with their Norwegian translation Vare Gamle Vals on their album Aminje (2005)
  8. Daria Kulesh on her EP Summer Delights (2018). She noted:
    A Sandy Denny classic weaving a spellbinding, nostalgic dreamscape of “long summer days by cool waterfalls”. With the recent passing of my Grandfather—the widower of my magical Grandmother Fatima—the song has acquired a new, deeply personal meaning. The “heroine” no longer “waits for her beau to return”. They are, at last, reunited. “As they dance round the floor and there’s no-one else there, and the world is no more, and there’s never a care…”


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