Fairport Convention: Crazy Man Michael
[Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick]
Richard had the words set to a trad tune and I thought that the words were great but that the tune weakened it ... He said that if I felt like that, why didn't I write a tune for it - so I did ... Funnily enough, I wrote the piece on the piano and I don't even play piano!
(Dave Swarbrick, “Hokey Pokey” #18). This tune is in 3/4 time.
On the original version, released on Liege and Lief, Simon Nicol plays acoustic guitar, and Richard Thompson plays an overdubbed Gibson Les Paul (once by direct injection, and once via a Leslie cabinet). This version was re-released on the double CD compilation Meet on the Ledge: The Classic Years 1967-1975 and on the 2CD Sandy Denny anthology No More Sad Refrains. An alternate mix (not alternate recording!) of this track was released in 2002 on the Fairport unConventioNal 4CD set.
A Danish TV broadcast from November 1969 is not available.
Fairport (without Sandy) released a live-in-the-studio version of this song on their 1987 album In Real Time. Another live recording from Cropredy 1983 was released on the cassette The Boot - 1983 Fairport Reunion. This song also appears on Fairport's 25th Anniversary Concert CD, with the original lineup (Vikki Clayton replaces Sandy Denny).
Boreen recorded Crazy Man Michael in 1997 for their CD Enchanted Ways.
Niamh Parsons sang Crazy Man Michael on Fromseier Rose's 2003 CD Contradiction.
Please find the lyrics for this song at Richard Thompson's website.