Mal - August 2022 - Who Knows Where the Time Goes - Fairport Convention

Lovely Mal, it is such an eternal song.
One of the best.
I have played this from time to time, sometimes late in the night after drinks with friends. It suits all occasions however.


Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” is a song written by the English folk-rock singer and songwriter Sandy Denny. Denny originally recorded the song as a demo in 1967, singing and playing guitar on the track.

Later that year, she briefly joined the folk band The Strawbs, and re-recorded the song, again with only her voice and guitar, for what became the album All Our Own Work, which was not released until 1973.

The American folk singer Judy Collins heard a tape of the original demo recording in 1968 and decided to cover the song. She released her recording first as the B-side of her cover version of Both Sides, Now, and then as the title track of her album Who Knows Where the Time Goes, both released in 1968. Hers was the first widely available recording of the song.

In 1968, Denny joined the folk-rock band Fairport Convention. She recorded the song on her second album with the band, the 1969 album Unhalfbricking. This version had more of a rock influence.

Who Knows Where the Time Goes? became a signature song for both Denny and Fairport Convention, and has been covered by many artists.

In 2007, the Unhalfbricking version was voted “Favourite Folk Track Of All Time” by listeners of BBC Radio 2.

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Thanks Richard, I do enjoy playing this. Richard Thompson plays some lovely guitar on the Fairport version.

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That was a really good song Mal, very well played and sung but there was something resonating through most of the song with spoilt it a little for me. When the noise wasn’t there it was great to listen to.

I loved your OM10 performance with your daughter, as well.

Hi Stefan, pleased you enjoyed our duo set. My production skills have yet to manifest properly, but the song sounds fine on my monitors. I did use a little reverb, it could be that. Lovely song though.

This is wonderful, Mal :hugs:. Thanks for sharing.

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Nice job Mal. A beautiful song and I just heard it for the first time. How long have you been playing? You really put great feeling in your music. Only one suggestion. I know this is a serious song but you deserve a smile once and a while. If not when playing then at least at the end. You earned it!

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Hi Carroll, pleased you enjoyed it. I am aware of my face but when one is in the music, but the face has been known to smile. Been playing for a few years now, but long ago I sang in bands, and still find it requires concentration to place fingers where and when required, smile gets forgotten. :smile: :smiley: :grinning:

I understand Malz. It’s hard enough to play and sing much less smile.
I still haven’t recorded anything but am getting close. Started with Justin about 2 1/2 years ago. Just finishing grade 2. Hope to get where you are one day. Do you use any special equipment to record? How do you video while you record? BTW what music did you use for your recording of “Who Knows Where The Time Goes”?

For this recording it was simply my phone. My recording skills have yet to materialise. The music was inspired by the lesson Justin recently put out concerning barre chords, so the e shaped bar on the F# and G# is not played. If you watch the lesson you might be able to work it out, better than I can explain. The way it is played be me allows for what my ears tell me is a lush drone sound. Hope that make sense?

Hi Malz,
Nicely played, it’s such a great song.
I was lucky enough to watch Simon Nicol playing it at close quarters a couple of weeks ago at their festival warm-up show.

There’s a couple of other interesting grips he uses that you might be interesting for you to try
You can substitute this partial A bar chord anytime it sounds good to you
Starting on the sixth string

fret: 5 or mute 0 7 6 0 0
finger T 3rd 2nd

at the end of the chorus he does this walk up
E , / F#m , E/G#, / A
Who Knows where the / Ti------- ime / Goes

Fret 4 mute 2 4 0 0
finger 3rd 1st 4th
The E/G# sounds really good. It does take a bit of practice to get the change clean

Looks like the formatting is making this wonky, so I hope you can make sense of it!!




Lucky you.
I saw Fairport a couple of years ago.
We were supposed to go again to see them this year but they cancelled due to covid.
My step daughter went to Cropredy Festival this year and loved the whole experience.

Hi Ruaridh,
Slightly jealous of seeing him. This looks very cool and will check it, thank you.

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Every year they do two warm up shows on the Monday and Tuesday because the Saturday night set is put together specially for the festival with guests.
I’d never been to it, even though ( or is that because) I’m a regular at the festival. Way back in January 2020 I bought a ticket for the Tuesday as it featured Richard Thompson and Dave Mattacks guesting, playing the whole of the full House album in its 50th anniversary year.
The ticket then stayed on the shelf for over two and a half years as both the 2020 and 2021 festival were pulled because of covid.
So long in fact , that the original intended warm-up venue has long shut down and they did it instead in a marquee in a field at the back of the Hook Norton brewery - very nice setting btw.

The way Simon plays Who Knows Where the Time Goes is a very good example of a how slow tempo doesn’t need to also mean low energy in the rhythm part. The guitar part isn’t languid at all, there’s some attack, and more going on in the strumming which keeps the whole thing bowling along


This clip from a small gig in around 2014 shows it very well
(1) Who Knows Where The Time Goes - Fairport Convention + Linde Nijland - YouTube

Thanks for this, I enjoyed listening/ watching.

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That’s a great cover Mal! The sounds of those lush chords really suit this song. I put that song on my ones to learn list some time back. At the time I was posting in a thread about the lifted chords and I think it was @Richard_close2u that replied to me giving an example of a stones song that used the technique. Can’t remember which one but I’d like to know. Thread was on old forum so I can’t retrieve the info.
Sandy Denny another unfortunate early death of a great musician. A cover version of this I love was by Christine Collister performed at a folk club near me in Hitchin, Herts. Amazing energy she puts into it which builds to something I love. She may well have worked with Denny as I believe Collister had Fairport connections too. Here it is Who Knows Where The Time Goes - Christine Collister solo (2007) - YouTube

Hi John, thank you, pleased you enjoyed it, such a great song and yes, she went too soon. Let me know if you can what the Stones song is. After watching the Stones documentary on the individual Stones on BBC I have a new found appreciation of them and have listened to them more recently than for a long time. Saw and enjoyed the video of Christine Collister, quite a different take on the song, will see her if and when the opportunity arises. Thanks again.

Late to this party, Mal, enjoyed your rendition of a song that is unknown to me (though perhaps I heard Eva Cassidy’s rendition on one of the YT documentaries about her).

I was wondering if you’d added reverb to the tone and noted confirmation of that in one of your replies that you did. How did you do that, I suppose playing the acoustic through an amp? I enjoyed it and thought your degree of reverb served the song well, which is not as easy to get right as it sounds.

I was also wondering if you used Justin’s technique of allowing open strings to ring out rather than making a full barre at times, which I thought may also have contributed to that airy lush sound.

Recording with a phone is tough, a real ‘it is what it is’ scenario, specifically with respect to guitar-voice balance. For my taste I’d have liked your voice a little louder, to enhance enjoyment of both your singing and the lyrics. Though maybe that is as much a symptom of listening to this on a simple bluetooth speaker.

Anyhow, really enjoyed it and look forward to your next.

Hi David, good to see you out and about again. Yes, reverb was used and through an amp. I use a Spark amp and it was that on the acoustic setting. It was Justin’s lesson on the Barre chords that inspired me to do the recording, but the phone is now letting me down, so there is now a shiny new Focusrite in the house. Now going through a steep learning curve getting to know the interface and use it with OBS for the next OM. Hope it will all come together. Pleased you enjoyed the song, maybe check out the Fairport Convention version, listen for the Richard Thompson riffs in the background, tasty. Not sure what will be next yet though a couple are being worked on.

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That sounds great, Mal, I’m sure you’ll soon get the hang of it. There are a few Topics that dig into it over here Tech Talk - How to setup Zoom / Audio / Video - JustinGuitar Community