> Fairport Convention > Songs > Reno, Nevada

Reno, Nevada

[Ian Matthews]

This song was a central part of the early Fairport Convention repertoire but was never recorded for one of their albums—this was done in 1971 by Ian (or Iain, as he later became known) Matthews on If You Saw Thro' My Eyes. Even before A Sailor's Life, this is one of the great Fairport examples of brilliant instrumental improvisation.

However, Fairport performed Reno, Nevada in several TV and radio sessions:
  1. on Bouton Rouge, French TV on April 27, 1968, still with Judy Dyble who left Fairport shortly after. This recording was available on the bootleg A Chronicle of Sorts and finally officiall released in 2002 on the Fairport unConventioNal 4CD set and in 2003 on the CD reissue of Fairport's self-titled first album, Fairport Convention.
  2. on the Stuart Henry Show on December 2, 1968. This recording is not available.
  3. on December 27, 1968 in BBC Studio 4, Maida Vale, for the David Symonds Show which was broadcast on January 10, 1969 with a repeat on January 24, 1969. It was produced by Keith Stewart. Ian Matthews and Sandy share the vocals with Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol on electric guitar, Ashley Hutchigs on bass and Martin Lamble on drums. The track was released on the Heyday cassette and CDs.

There is another live version of Reno, Nevada by Ian Matthews on the charity compilation Circle Dance. Fairport has played it every time Ian has appeared at Cropredy, too, e.g. on the 1986 The Other Boot.

Lyrics

It's a long long way down to Reno Nevada
It's a long long way to your home
And the change in your pocket it's beginning to crumble
And you reap just about what you sow
You can walk down the street
Pass your face in a window
You can go on foolin' around
You can work night and day take a chance on promotion
You can fall through a hole in the ground

Well there ain't no game like the game that you're playing
When you've got a little something to lose
And there ain't no time like the time that you're wasting
And you waste just about what you choose
There's a man at the table and you know he's been able
To return all the odds that you lay
And you can't feed your hunger
And you ain't getting younger
And your tongue it's got nothing to say

It's a long long way down to Reno Nevada
It's a long long way to your home
And the ground underneath you it's beginning to crumble
And the sky up above you has grown
There's a time to be grievin' and a time to be screamin'
And a time just to scroll on the wall
And you ain't got the double
And it ain't worth the trouble
You're feeling you're going nowhere at all