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The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood

[Richard Fariña]

The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood is a beautiful poem by Richard Fariña which he set to the Irish air My Lagan Love. Mimi Fariña sang it in 1968 on the Richard & Mimi Fariña's album Memories, two years after Richard's untimely death.

Pete Seeger sang The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood on his album God Bless the Grass (CBS 1966; Folkways 1982) that “focuses on environmental issues and offers inspiration and admiration for nature”.

The first known versions of Sandy Denny singing Quiet Joys of Brotherhood are out-takes from Fairport Convention's Liege and Lief sessions at the Sound Techniques Studios in Summer 1969, finally appearing on the Who Knows Where the Time Goes? box set in 1986 (take 4) and on the 2002 CD reissue of Liege and Lief (take 1). Sandy sings, Dave Swarbrick plays violin, Richard Thompson plays electric dulcimer and Dave Mattacks drums. On live appearances, Ashley Hutchings apparently bowed his bass.

Sandy re-recorded the song in 1972 for her Sandy album, singing the song unaccompanied with just her vocals multi-tracked (and achieving some very interesting effects). Dave Swarbrick plays a coda on acoustic violin. This track was re-released on the Sandy Denny anthologies No More Sad Refrains and A Boxful of Treasures.

In 1983, Trevor Lucas was asked to appear at a fund raiser to save the Franklin River in Tasmania from being dammed. He appeared with Louis McManus of the Bushwackers, assisting on lead guitar, mandolin and fiddle. One of the songs was Quiet Joys of Brotherhood which Trevor sung unaccompanied into the soundhole of his acoustic guitar, creating a sort of double tracking effect, and Louis playing Swarb's fiddle part in conclusion—a very moving version. This recording was released on Trevor's side of the cassette Together Again: The Attic Tracks Vol. 4.

Tarras sang The Joys of Brotherhood in 2011 on their CD Warn the Waters.

Bryony Holden sang The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood in 2013 on her Sandy Denny tribute album Across the Purple Sky.

Lady Maisery sang The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood in 2016 on their CD Cycle.

For us, this song is about our growing disconnect from nature and a nostalgic wish to return to a more sustainable, even sacred, relationship to land. Richard Fariña's poem, which he set to an old Irish tune, was recorded by his wife Mimi on their 1968 album Memories, released two years after his untimely death.

This video shows them live at the Downend Folk Club at Christ Church, Downend, Bristol, on November 18, 2016:

Lyrics

Mimi Fariña sings The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood Sandy Denny sings Quiet Joys of Brotherhood

When gentle tides go rolling by,
Along the salt sea strand
The colours blend and roll as one
Together in the sand.
And often do the winds entwine
To send their distant call,
The quiet joys of brotherhood,
And love is lord of all.

As gentle tides go rolling by,
Along the salt sea strand
The colours blend and roll as one
Together in the sand.
And often do the winds entwine
To send their distant call,
The quiet joys of brotherhood,
And love is lord of all.

Where oak and weed together rise,
Along the common ground.
The mare and stallion, light and dark,
Have thunder in their sound.
The rainbow sign, the blended flood
Still have my heart enthralled.
The quiet joys of brotherhood,
And love is lord of all.

The oak and weed together rise,
Along the common ground.
The mare and stallion, light and dark,
Have thunder in their sound.
The rainbow sign, the blended flower
Still have my heart in thrall.
The quiet joys of brotherhood,
And love is lord of all.

But man have come to plough the tide,
The oak lies on the ground.
I hear their fires in the fields,
They drive the stallion down.
The roses bleed, both light and dark,
The winds do seldom call.
The running sands recall the time
When love was lord of all.

But man has come to plough the tide,
The oak lies on the ground.
I hear their fires in the fields,
They drive the stallion down.
The roses bleed, both light and dark,
The winds do seldom call.
The running sands recall the time
When love was lord of all.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood.