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Ringing Down the Years

[Dave Cousins]

This is not a song by Sandy Denny, but a song about her. Dave Cousins wrote it after Sandy’s death.

A solo version by Dave Cousins and Brian Willoughby, recorded in 1980 at the Startling Studios, is on the CD for Sandy’s daughter Georgia Rose Lucas, Georgia on Our Mind. A Strawbs version was released on the same-named record, Ringing Down the Years, and as B-side of the Strawbs and Maddy Prior single The King.


We met when you were still a girl
In nineteen sixty eight
You wore a white dress and a hat
I touched the hand of fate
Your sweet voice took my breath away
Your smile lit up your face
You still had both feet on the ground
I was out in space

That certain sadness in your eyes
The secret of your smile
I’ve carried all these memories
Down many’s the weary mile
And every time I hear your name
My eyes moist up with tears
As every word you ever sang
Comes ringing down the years.

We sat and talked the whole night long
Of all our rights and wrongs
Of mutual acquaintances
We sang each other’s song
You were with me when the morning broke
The birds refused to sing
They knew when they were beaten
They hid beneath their wings.

I was in a Cleveland hotel room
When they telephoned the news
I drowned my sorrow all night long
The Southern Comfort blues
The show went on to great applause
Choking back the tears
As every word you ever sang
Came ringing down the years.

I reached out for the hourglass
To turn it face about
But who knows where the time goes
When your time is running out
I know someday we’ll meet again
And I know just what I’ll find
You’ll have taught the angels how to sing
Georgia - Georgia on my mind.

(Copyright © Old School Songs)


Ringing Down the Years (Dave Cousins) lyrics reproduced courtesy of Old School Songs Ltd administered worldwide by SGO Music Publishing Ltd.