Now Be Thankful

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"Now Be Thankful"
Single by Fairport Convention
B-side "Sir B. McKenzie's Daughter's Lament for the 77th Mounted Lancers Retreat from the Straits of Loch Knombe, in the Year of Our Lord 1727, on the Occasion of the Announcement of Her Marriage to the Laird of Kinleakie"
Released October 1970[1]
Format 7" 45 rpm
Recorded 22 July 1970 at Sound Techniques, London
Label Island Records WIP 6089[1]
Songwriter(s) Dave Swarbrick / Richard Thompson
Producer(s) Joe Boyd, Witchseason Productions
Fairport Convention singles chronology
""If (Stomp)"" "Now Be Thankful" ""Walk Awhile""

"Now Be Thankful" is a 1970 single by Fairport Convention released by Island Records (WIP 6089, September 1970).[1] The lyrics are by Dave Swarbrick and Richard Thompson

When the stone is grown too cold to kneel
In crystal waters I'll be bound
Cold as stone, weary to the sounds upon the wheel


Now be thankful for good things below
Now be thankful to your maker
For the rose, the red rose blooms for all to know
When the fire is grown too fierce to breathe
In burning irons I'll be bound
Fierce as fire, weary to the sound upon the wheel

Though apparently cheerful on the surface, the lyrics can also be taken as referring to the barbarity of life in Medieval times.[2]


The B-side on an original 45 rpm single

The B-side "Sir B. McKenzie's Daughter's Lament For The 77th Mounted Lancers Retreat From The Straits Of Loch Knombe, In The Year Of Our Lord 1727, On The Occasion Of The Announcement Of Her Marriage To The Laird Of Kinleakie" is actually a medley of three songs: "Biff, Bang, Crash" (Trad.), "The Kilfenora" (Trad.) and "Boston Tea Party" (by Dave Swarbrick).

The title referred to the strip cartoon Barry McKenzie, written by Barry Humphries, which Fairport Convention enjoyed in the satirical magazine Private Eye.[3] The song's title was an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.[1][4] Frequently cited to be the longest song title ever,[1] it was later beaten by Test Dept's "Long Live British Democracy Which Flourishes and Is Constantly Perfected Under the Immaculate Guidance of the Great, Honourable, Generous and Correct Margaret Hilda Thatcher. She Is the Blue Sky in the Hearts of All Nations. Our People Pay Homage and Bow in Deep Respect and Gratitude to Her. The Milk of Human Kindness".


  1. ^ a b c d e Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 332. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  2. ^ Cf. Greil Marcus in The Village Voice: "Thompson, however, was straight out of the Plague years ... laughing at the stupidity of man's faith, cursing God with his next breath," quoted by Patrick Humphries in Meet on the Ledge (Eel Pie Publishing, London, 1982), p.62
  3. ^ Humphries, 1996, p.106
  4. ^ Meet on the Ledge, Patrick Humphries (Eel Pie Publishing, London, 1982), p.61


  • Humphries, Parick (1996). Richard Thompson: Strange Affair. Virgin. ISBN 0-86369-993-6.
  • Strong, Martin (2000). The Great Rock Discography. Mojo Books. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.

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