Track 3 on Side 1 is another truly splendid song, “The Poor Ditching Boy” (3.01), but again there is little if any of Richard Thompson’s trademark electric guitar here.
From the lyrics in the CD insert, the final verse and chorus:
“It’s bitter the need of the poor ditching boy
He’ll always believe what they say
They tell him it’s hard to be honest and true
Does he mind if he doesn’t get paid?
With her scheming, idle ways
She left me poor enough
The storming wind cut through to my skin
But she cut through to my blood”.
It is worth mentioning here how Richard Thompson’s voice comes over on this record, a style which is unique to it. This was his first solo LP, and he had never had a major singing role before. What you get here is essentially his attempt to sound “folky”, and a pretty good effort it is too. The production is laid back in the mix and somewhat subdued and self-effacing, but not, as some critics have suggested, lacking in confidence. The overall effect is in fact very pleasing indeed, and it is sad that it was never heard again.